Listen to the MESSAGE for
Sunday, March 29, 2020
Service of the Lord’s Day
March 22, 2020
Cynthiana Presbyterian Church
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Call to Worship
L: The Lord is our shepherd; we will have all that we need; we are released
P: The Shepherd guides us in fruitful living, giving us healing and pardon.
L: Even though difficulties and dangers may lie ahead, we do not need to fear.
P: God’s love and strength are as a rod and staff for us.
L: God will give us abundantly from God’s own love.
P: Surely this goodness and mercy will be with us all of our days, and we will dwell in God’s loving care forevermore.
Hymn: (Sing along!) (Click on the blue title for the link) Morning Has Broken
Prayer of Confession
we take your care for granted.
In the midst of your many blessings,
we complain of not having enough.
In the presence of danger,
we fail to trust your abiding love.
When you set a table before us,
we turn aside from you.
Call us back into your care
and help us trust your caring presence,
that our actions may proclaim your truth. Amen.
Words of Assurance
Surely goodness and mercy shall
all the days of our lives.
God forgives our failures and calls us back
into the flock.
First Reading: 1 Sam
The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.’ Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.’ And the Lord said, ‘Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.’ Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ He said, ‘Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.’ And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’ Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, ‘Neither has the Lord chosen this one.’ Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen any of these.’ Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.’ He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’ Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.
Gospel Reading: John 9:1-41
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.’ When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam’ (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbours and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, ‘Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some were saying, ‘It is he.’ Others were saying, ‘No, but it is someone like him.’ He kept saying, ‘I am the man.’ But they kept asking him, ‘Then how were your eyes opened?’ He answered, ‘The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, “Go to Siloam and wash.” Then I went and washed and received my sight.’ They said to him, ‘Where is he?’ He said, ‘I do not know.’
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, ‘He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.’ Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.’ But others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?’ And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, ‘What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.’ He said, ‘He is a prophet.’
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, ‘Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?’ His parents answered, ‘We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.’ His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, ‘He is of age; ask him.’
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, ‘Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.’ He answered, ‘I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.’ They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’ He answered them, ‘I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?’ Then they reviled him, saying, ‘You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.’ The man answered, ‘Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.’ They answered him, ‘You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?’ And they drove him out.
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ He answered, ‘And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.’ He said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshipped him. Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.’ Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, ‘Surely we are not blind, are we?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, “We see”, your sin remains.
This is the word of God for the people of God, thanks be to God.
Sermon Text: Psalm 23
A Psalm of David
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
How has God met you in Scripture today?
How/where have you met God?
In Psalm 23 we are reminded of who the Divine Shepherd is. As we go through this trying time as a country, as a community of faith, and as individuals, we are challenged to remain calm, to not be anxious, to not be afraid. What better Scripture passage could have come up in the lectionary readings this week!
It is perfectly normal to feel all of those feelings right now. We are human and we can’t be expected to hide those feelings away. However, we don’t have to dwell in those feelings and to let them overwhelm us. Scripture provides us with so many verses that remind us of God’s love for us and God’s protection over us. That doesn’t meant that bad things won’t happen, but it does mean that whatever we are going through, we can trust that God is with us. God leads us to calm places; places of assurance and grace.
Pause for a moment and reflect on how God has cared for you in the past. Do you trust that God is caring for you now? If so, give thanks to God. If not, reflect again on God’s care for you in the past and see if you can find a way to trust that God is caring for you now.
Relying on God in these times is of utmost importance, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t take other steps in addition to calm our hearts and minds. Of course, take time to pray and reflect on God’s unending love and care. But also, turn off the television and computer, go for a walk, take a bubble bath, work on a hobby, do a craft project, and maintain a regular routine. These are just a few suggestions and I’m sure that you can come up with many more of your own.
How can you use today’s readings to calm your anxiety and fear?
How can you support others during this time?
Re-read Psalm 23 slowly and put yourself in the psalm. Take time to let the words wash over you and to reduce any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. Trust that God is providing for you and will continue to provide for you in the days ahead. Amen.
Affirmation of Faith
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.
Hymn (Sing along!) (Click on the blue title for the link) His Eye is on the Sparrow
God has been abundantly generous with us, let us be joyful and faithful givers.
(Please mail offerings to Cynthiana Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 456, Cynthiana, KY 41031)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below; Praise him above ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Prayers of the People
(Please send any prayer requests to Pastor Julie by email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Holy God, as we go through this trying time we look to you for comfort and guidance. We pray for wisdom to deal with what we are facing, and we trust in your faithfulness to us. We pray for your world that is covered in this virus and ask for your healing. Be with the sick and the suffering and give them comfort. While we cannot be together as a worshipping community help us to find ways to connect with each other that are meaningful. Remind us to check in on each other and to care for one another. Ground us in prayer. We ask these things with confidence, knowing that you hear our prayers and that in your will they are answered. We pray in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, saying:
Hymn (Sing along!) (Click on the blue title for the link) Great is Thy Faithfulness
Charge and Benediction
We will get through this, and we will get through it by trusting in God’s faithfulness and by loving and caring for each other and God’s entire world. Let’s work on that this week. And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you this day and forevermore. Amen.
(Call to worship and prayer of confession taken from Ministry Matters)
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear called on churches to cancel worship services this weekend to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The decision whether to suspend services in churches that are part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was decided by the Ad Hoc committee of our church.
So for your Sunday service click below.
To watch it in full screen make sure and click on the icon in the bottom right hand corner.