New Covenant Community Church

Serpents & Saviors – 3/14/21



Leader: As we worship, may we see God’s presence in all people.
People: May we experience God’s love in word and sacrament.
Leader: May we hear God’s grace in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
People: May we discern God’s call through renewed faith and discipleship.
Leader: May we manifest God’s compassion among our sisters and brothers in the world.
People: As pilgrims on this Lenten journey, may God guide us through the wilderness.

HYMN                            Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah                                 Ken Heischman
Guide me, O Thou great Redeemer, Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but Thou art mighty; Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more, Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain, Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar Lead me all my journey through;
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
Be Thou still my strength and shield, Be Thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan, Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction, Land me safe on Canaan’s side;
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to Thee, I will ever give to Thee.

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION                                                            (Unison)
God of redeeming love, by Your grace, You stand with us at all times, not only when we are
     awakened by Your wonder, but also when we waver from Your word, and when we
     wander in the wilderness. Yet we often resist the new things that You do among us.
God of steadfast love, forgive us for closing our minds to the new reality that You are
     shaping for us.
God of unchanging love, forgive us for closing our ears to the word of life that You share
     with us.
God of boundless love, forgive us for closing our eyes to Your illuminating presence that
     provides a beacon of hope for all humanity.
God of unconditional love, renew us by Your mercy, and inspire us with Your grace, so
     that we would be bold in our faith, joyful in our worship, and humble in our service,
     through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray.                              (Silent)

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS                                          (adapted from 1 John 2:1-2)
Leader: If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
People: And He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

HYMN                                    Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart                            Ken Heischman
Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
Give thanks with a grateful heart, Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, I am strong
Let the poor say, I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
And now let the weak say, I am strong
Let the poor say, I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us
Give thanks

SCRIPTURE                                                                                    Numbers 21:4-9
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom;
but the people became impatient on the way. The people spoke against God 5and against
Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is
no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.”  Then the Lord sent poisonous
serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. The
people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and
against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed
for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it
on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” So Moses made
a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone,
that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

MEDITATION                                                                             “Serpents and Saviors”


HYMN                                      In the Cross of Christ I Glory                              Ken Heischman
In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me. Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure, By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians,
we are instructed to look not only to personal interests but also to the interests of others .
and as members of the church of Jesus Christ,
we devote ourselves to a mission that makes a difference in the world, whose benefits are
not for us alone.
Through our gifts we have the opportunity to share in important work locally, nationally, and
internationally, whether through our community outreach or through our work of providing buckets
of care for the people in Honduras . . .
and so may the offerings we share will continue to be used
to bring hope and healing,
to promote peace,
and to enhance the quality of life for all people.

Invitation to the Table
     Prayer of Thanksgiving
     Words of Institution and Communion of the People
     Prayer after Communion