Worship – July 25th – Singing Together: Lent

Welcome to Shepherd of the Hill’s online worship! We are thankful that you have come to this corner of the internet for some of God’s Word and time for reflection and worship. As you engage the below worship service, you are encouraged to quiet the world around you. Turn off or silence your phone. Find a quiet spot in your house or outdoors.

The service is approximately 30 minutes in length if you follow all the pieces. Songs have been contributed by our Worship Team and around the internet. Our lectors have recorded the readings. Pastor Adam has recorded a sermon for viewing. There is also liturgy (litanies, prayers, calls to worship) contained in the service. If you are worshiping with someone, please share the reading of these pieces with them.

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 92 and Psalm 95)

Come, let us sing to Yahweh;
Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come into the Divine presence with thanksgiving;
Let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise!

It is good to give you thanks, O Yahweh;
To sing praises to your name, O Most High;

to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,

to the music of the lute and harp,
to the melody of the lyre.

For you, O God, have made us glad by your work;
At the works of your hands we sing for joy.

Opening Prayer
Holy, Creating, Creative God,
We sing from the depths of our sorrow.
We sing from the abundance of our joy.
We sing in voices separate and unique.
We sing with one voice as your body.
May the words of our mouths, whether in speech or song,
and the meditations of our hearts, whether in prose or poetry,
be pleasing in your sight.
Amen.

A Brief Introduction to Lent

Song – In The Cross of Christ I Glory

Reading – Ezekiel 37.1-10
The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Song – Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross

Reading – Luke 4:1–13
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”

5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,
    and serve only him.’”

9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    to protect you,’
11 and
‘On their hands they will bear you up,
    so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”

12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Song – Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Prayers

Most Holy Friend, your goodness always tests our readiness to receive it, please increase our eagerness for you and enlarge our ability to share your love around.

Gracious God, steer us through times of temptation,
And deliver us from evil.

On this Sunday as we reflect upon Lent,
we think of those who are being acutely tempted:
tempted to look the other way when wrong is happening in their workplace;
tempted to misuse their gifts for a sordid purpose;
tempted to allow untamed emotions to hold sway;
tempted by the corrupting power of money;
and those tempted to stay in a rut rather than strike out on new paths for Christ Jesus.

Generous God, steer us through times of temptation,
And deliver us from evil.

We pray also for the many who feel pushed and tested almost beyond their endurance;
those in positions of heavy responsibility who feel overloaded to the point of collapse;
or those pressured from all sides by factions in workplace or community;
suffering people–and all who must watch a loved one suffer– who feel they can bear no more; kindly folk whose patience with a difficult friend is now at breaking point;
persecuted Christians whose faith seems stretched beyond their limit;
and the depressed whose inner being endures a misery which no human word can alleviate.

Merciful God, steer us through times of temptation,
And deliver us from evil.

We also pray for those who seem to be in a position of advantage:
the happy, that their happiness may always be used for goodwill and compassion;
the strong, that their energies may be used wisely and gently;
the clever, that they may employ their mental facility for good not evil;
for the rich, that their wealth may be shared for the uplifting of the poor;
for the powerful, that they may use their position as a blessing to humanity;
and those of strong faith, that they may walk humbly and affirm the weaker souls.

Righteous God, steer us through times of temptation,
And deliver us from evil.

And now most Holy Friend, we pray for each other in this church. None of us know the extent of the pressures that some may be under this very day.  Keep us on your path as we go through the wildernesses of life.  Guide us with your Word, with this fellowship, and with practices that keep us grounded and trusting in you.   Draw us near you, as we pray the words you taught us to pray…

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 trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,  and the power and the glory
forever and ever. 
Amen.

Song – Were You There?

Giving and Offering
As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, Shepherd of the Hills remains focused on safe worship practices. We are not passing the offering plate during service and ask that people continue with either mailing their giving or utilizing our online portal.

Our online giving is secure and fully operational. It can be found here.

Thank you again for helping us continue to spread God’s Word and help those in need during these challenging times.  


Call to Worship written by Joanna Harader