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Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 22, 2023
March 26, 2023 | Fifth Sunday in Lent
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Events and Announcements
Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week.
O Mensch bewein dein Sünde gross, (“O man, bewail thy sin so great”), BWV 622, Johann Sebastian Bach
Call to Worship
We gather to worship God.
God who makes dry bones dance.
God who calls Lazarus from the grave.
God who forgives us and gives us hope.
Come, then, let us worship God!
Hymn #394, “Christ is Made the Sure Foundation”
1 Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one;
holy Zion’s help forever,
and our confidence alone.
2 To this temple, where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;
come, with all your loving-kindness;
hear your people as we pray,
and your fullest benediction
shed within these walls today.
3 Here bestow on all your servants
what they seek from you to gain;
what they gain from you, forever
with the blessed to retain;
and hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.
4 Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one:
one in might and one in glory
while unending ages run!
Prayer of Adoration
Call to Confession
Prayer of Confession (together)
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord. Hear our voices and let your ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications. We come into your presence confessing our sins, aware we have behaved in ways that are contrary to your desire for our living. We come into your presence aware that too often we allow lifelessness to gain the upper hand. We come into your presence aware that we put our trust in our own abilities. Forgive us, O God. Infuse us with your life-giving spirit. Breathe into us and make us come alive.
Composed by James MacMillan
Assurance of Pardon
Hope in the Lord!
With the Lord, there is steadfast love.
With God, there is great power to redeem.
Thanks be to God who redeems us from all our iniquities.
Thanks be to God!
Response of Praise: Hymn 582, “Glory to God, Whose Goodness Shines on Me”
1 Glory to God, whose goodness shines on me,
and to the Son, whose grace has pardoned me,
and to the Spirit, whose love has set me free.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.
2 World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
World without end, without end. Amen.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.
Passing of the peace
Life in Community
Thank you for joining us for worship! Explore the calendar of events and recent announcements to take another step into our life together this week. If you’re joining us for the first time or would like to learn more about Catonsville Presbyterian, you’re welcome to share your email with us. We’ll send some information that will help you get connected.
Prayer for Illumination
Our souls wait for the Lord and in God’s Word we hope. We wait for the Divine Word to envelop and guide us. We wait for the creating word to give us life and bring nourishment to our parched souls. Our souls wait for the Lord and in God’s Word we hope. Amen.
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14
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.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude. Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,” says the Lord.
Hymn #286: “Breathe On Me, Breath of God”
1 Breathe on me, Breath of God;
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.
2 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.
3 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
until this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.
4 Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.
Scripture: John 11:1-45
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Sermon: “Love Liberates”
Call to Offering
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“My Jesus, I Love Thee,” Adoniram Gordon, arr. Paul Sjolund. Thank you to Natalia Vladimirova for serving as a violinist in worship today.
My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine; for thee all the follies of sin I resign;
my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
I love thee because thou hast first loved me and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow: If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou; if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.
Doxology #607, “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow”
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Christ, all people here below;
Praise Holy Spirit evermore;
Praise Triune God, whom we adore. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
Good and gracious God, may these gifts be one of the ways your life giving presence is experienced in our community. Use this money and use us to give hope to the hopeless, wholeness to the broken and fullness to the hungry. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
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 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.
Hymn #793, “O Christ, the Healer”
1 O Christ, the healer, we have come
to pray for health, to plead for friends.
How can we fail to be restored
when reached by love that never ends?
2 From every ailment flesh endures
our bodies clamor to be freed;
yet in our hearts we would confess
that wholeness is our deepest need.
3 How strong, O Lord, are our desires,
how weak our knowledge of ourselves!
Release in us those healing truths
unconscious pride resists or shelves.
4 In conflicts that destroy our health
we recognize the world’s disease;
our common life declares our ills.
Is there no cure, O Christ, for these?
5 Grant that we all, made one in faith,
in your community may find
the wholeness that, enriching us,
shall reach the whole of humankind.
Listen for the voice of God calling to you, “Mortal, can these bones live?”
And in confidence, answer “O Lord God, You know.”
And then hold on —
because God just may use you to make it happen.
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God and the
fellowship of the Holy Spirit
rest, remain and surround you today and all
days. And so let God’s people say,
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, (“I desire deeply a blessed end”) setting by Johann Gottfried Walther
- Dorothy Boulton, Associate Pastor
- Keith and Kathy Glennan, Ruling Elders, video production
- Wendy Johnston, Organist and Assistant Director of Music
- Greg Knauf, Director of Music
- Kenneth E. Kovacs, Pastor
- Vickie Lord, social media support
- Dottie Marshall, Ruling Elder, sanctuary set up
- Cheryl Thurber, Ruling Elder, liturgist
- Natalia Vladimirova, violin
- Sharon Core, The Presbyterian Outlook, 2023.
- Book of Common Worship (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018).
- Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2013).
- Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from One License with license #A-734388; CCLI Copyright License B 20481088 + Streaming License B 481071
- “Kyrie eleison” from the Galloway Mass by James MacMillan (b.1959), from Common Ground: A Song Book for All the Churches (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1993).