New Covenant Community Church


Who in the World Cares?

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Sermons


PRELUDE                          Praise to the Lord, the Almighty                         – Gesangbuch

     Leader: Let us gather in the presence of the One who shares the gift of grace among us.
     People: We gather here in this place where the ordinary is sanctified, where creation is
                   celebrated, and where a new reality is pursued.
     Leader: Let us come together in this place of worship where God’s love molds us
                  into disciples.
     People: We come together to embrace and embody the word of God in our lives.
     Leader: Here we listen for the Word ofthe Lord that calls us out of our comfort zones,
                   to go where grace is most needed.
     People: Let uslook for the new reality that God is revealing to us, aslight dawns on a weary

*HYMN                              Light Dawns in a Weary World                        Glory to God, #79

    Holy and loving Lord,
        although we have not earned Your forgiveness,
            we nevertheless cast ourselves upon Your unbounded mercy.
    Forgive us for those occasions when we learned nothing because we did not want to listen.
        Have mercy upon us for those instances when we did not help, because
we did not want to
            Have compassion upon usfor a weak Christian witness which is at timesso fragile that
            few can experience Your light shining through us.
    Cleanse us from our sin, O Lord,
        and renew us by Your grace,
            so that in our words and deeds we may testify to the life and love of Jesus Christ our
            Lord, in whose name we pray.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS       (adapted from Micah 7:18-19)
    Leader: Who is like our God, who pardons our iniquities and passes over
                  our transgressions?
    People: The LORD will have compassion upon us, and our God will cast all our sins
into the
depths of the sea.
    Leader: Friends, believe the good news of the gospel:
    People: Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

MUSICAL INTERLUDE          I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry              Glory to God, #488
    [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. As we meditate on
    this hymn text, may we be reminded that through the waters of baptism, God remains
    faithful to all people at every stage of our earthly journey, and God is always present.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                        Ezekiel 33:7-11
   7 So you, mortal, I have made a sentinel for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.  8 If I say to the wicked, “O wicked ones, you shall surely die,” and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from their ways, the wicked shall die in their iniquity, but their blood I will require at your hand.  9 But if you warn the wicked to turn from their ways, and they do not turn fromtheir ways, the wicked shall die in theiriniquity, but you will have saved your life.
    10 Now you, mortal, say to the house of Israel, Thus you have said: “Our transgressions and our sins weigh upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?” 11 Say to them, AsI live,says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from their ways and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?”

MUSICAL INTERLUDE                               Your Only Son                                Glory to God, #518
    [During the interlude, you are invited to consider what God may be saying to you
     in these passages of Scripture. You are also encouraged to read the textual notes
     which focuses on the references in Scripture to Jesus as the Lamb of God.]

SCRIPTURE                                                                                                          Jonah 3:1 – 4:1
      1 The word ofthe LORD came to Jonah a second time,saying, 2 “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk . And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
    5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. 6 When the newsreached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed hisrobe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. 8 Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that isin their hands. 9 Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from hisfierce anger,so that we do not perish.” 10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
     4:1 But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.

MEDITATION                                                                                  Who in the World Cares?

ANTHEM                                      Bind Us Together                                          – Hayes

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH                                                     from A Declaration of Faith, 8.2
    We believe that God sends us to tell all nations
         that Christ calls everyone to repentance, faith and obedience.
    We are to proclaim by word and deed that Christ gave himself to set people free
        from sin and self-hatred, from ignorance and disease,
        from all forms of oppression, and even from death.
    We must not distort the gospel
        by weakening its promises or demands,
        by identifying it with oppressive structures,
        by pointing to ourselves instead of Christ.
    We must not restrict our proclamation to persons just like ourselves.
    We invite people everywhere to believe in Christ and become his followers.
    We urge them to join us in telling others the good news and in struggling for justice,
        compassion, and peace.

. . .Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will
be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this 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.


MUSICAL INTERLUDE                      I Come with Joy                             Glory to God, #515
    [During the interlude,recall two orthree thingsthat happened this week for which you are
     grateful.  Cherish them, and then thank God forthese gifts. You are also invited to embrace
     the hymn’s vision of Christian unity that is gifted to us when we gather at the Lord’s table]

    Gracious God,
        You desire the best for us and call forth the best from us.
            So we ask that You would receive these offerings,
                not only as a sign of our commitment,
                but also as an opportunity to promote Your healing and hope.
    As we thank You for giving us the privilege of giving and living for You,
         we pray that through offering these resources,
             we may affirm our love for You and for our neighbor,
                 as well as our commitment to justice and righteousness,
                     for we offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

*HYMN                         Called as Partners in Christ’s Service                       Glory to God, #761


*CHORAL RESPONSE               Surely, the Presence of the Lord                         – see screens

POSTLUDE                                      Wade in the Water                                                  – Hayes

During this time of uncertainty, New Covenant Community Church will be faithful
in trusting and abiding in God’s guidance,
and continue to be welcoming, inclusive, and steadfast
in our mission, ministry, and hospitality.
We will be open to new pastoral leadership and the new things God is doing among us.

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