PRELUDE O Worship the King – Keveren
*CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: We gather here to worship the Lord of illumination who renews us with faith,
who strengthens us with hope, and who embraces us with love.
People: God’s light opens our eyes to the beauty of creation and to the dawn of new life.
Leader: Let us behold the miracles of God thatshine through every person and
are evident at every moment.
People: As we worship, let us open our hearts and minds to the new beginnings that
Leader: In this place,may our Lord enlighten us with wisdom and truth,so that we may
be equipped for God’s service.
People: Let us come together and praise the Lord, the Almighty, and the King of creation.
*HYMN Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty Glory to God, #35
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION (Unison)
Merciful God, through Your light, You provide a path for mission and ministry,
but we often choose to dwell in the darkness of indifference.
Because of our sin, we have often rejected individuals whose beliefs differ
from our own;
we have frequently shrunk the world to the size of our prejudices;
and we have attempted to diminish Your love to the level of our preferences.
Forgive us, Lord, when we have stumbled in the darkness and turned away from You.
Overcome our weakness with Your strength,
mend our brokenness with Your wholeness,
and quell our fears with renewed faith.
Empower us to walk in Your light,
and enable us to follow Your way,
so that we would shine as Your people upon this earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (adapted from Isaiah 44:22-23)
Leader: The LORD has swept away our transgressions like a cloud and our sins like a mist.
People: Let us sing to the LORD and live as God’s servants, for the LORD has redeemed us.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.
MUSICAL INTERLUDE As the Deer Glory to God, #626
[During the interlude, you are invited to reflect on where you might have missed God this
week, or where you might have turned against another human being. You are also
encouraged to turn to the hymn and contemplate the lyrics which paraphrase Psalm 42:1.]
SCRIPTURE Psalm 50:1-6
1 The mighty one, God the LORD,speaks and summonsthe earth from the rising
of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
3 Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge.
MUSICAL INTERLUDE From the Rising of the Sun Glory to God, #670
[During the interlude, you are invited to consider what God may be saying to you in these
passages of Scripture. It may also be meaningful to contemplate the lyrics of this hymn
which summons God’s people to praise the Lord from daylight to dark.]
SCRIPTURE 2 Kings 2:1-14
1 Now when the Lord was about to takeElijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of prophets who were inBethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.” 4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord hassent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.” 6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “Asthe Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood atsome distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10 He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.”
11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses offire separated the two ofthem, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father,father! The chariots ofIsrael and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
MEDITATION Moving On
*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH from The Confession of 1967, 9.22 & 25
The new life takes shape in a community in which people know that God loves and accepts
them in spite of what they are. They therefore accept themselves and love others,
knowing that no one has any ground on which to stand, except God’s grace.
The members of the church are emissaries of peace and seek the good of all in
cooperation with powers and authorities in politics, culture, and economics.
But they have to fight against pretensions and injustices when these same
powers endanger human welfare.
Their strength is in their confidence that God’s purpose rather than human
schemes will finally prevail.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE AND THE LORD’S PRAYER
. . . Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy
will be done, on earth as it isin heaven. Give usthis day our daily bread; and forgive
us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver
us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.
INVITATION TO GIVE
MUSICAL INTERLUDE Will You Come and Follow Me Glory to God, #726
[During the interlude, recall two or three thingsthat happened this week for which you are
grateful. Cherish them, and then thank God for these gifts. You are also invited to
embrace the hymn’slyrics which are interpreted asthe voice ofChrist calling His disciples
PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Unison)
God of justice and peace, in worshiping You as our Savior and Lord,
we offer these gifts of our hands and the service of our lives in thanksgiving
for all You have given to us.
As we present these offerings, may Your love be discovered afresh, and may
Your people be empowered with hope,so thatthrough the resources of our
lives andour livelihood, through our time and our talents, we may participate
in shaping a more humane world where Your message is embraced and
Your Word proclaimed across the globe, for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord,
in whose name we pray. Amen.
*HYMN Lord, When I Came Into This Life Glory to God, #691
*CHORAL RESPONSE Surely, the Presence of the Lord – see screens
POSTLUDE The Lily of the Valley – Haye