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The Right — and the Left — Side of Power

Remember Jesus does not forget us so let us not forget to be faithful which what he requires from us. “With God ALL things are possible.


“A United Methodist Community”

Sunday, March 29, 2020

5 th Sunday in Lent


Discipleship: choosing to live into our divine image, not simply praising Jesus for living into his.

PRELUDE – Bryan O’Lone

WELCOME – Kellie Santoro



One: We come together to be God's peace:

Many: To love confidently in times of anxiety,

One: To love generously in times of scarcity,

Many: To love trustingly even those we call enemies.

One: We come to suffer, to endure, to hope,

Many: To become the character of Christ, the love of God, incarnate.

All: We come to be more faithful disciples right now, right here.

*OPENING HYMN “Lord of the Dance” UMH #261


ALL: Spirit of life and peace, we confess that it is easier to love possessions, acquired and hoarded, than to love giving. It is easier to choose a momentary pleasure that soothes our anxiety right now, than to sacrifice comfort to meet the need of a sister or brother. It is easier to believe in the illusion of worldly prosperity, than live dependent on the reality of abundance outside our control. We confess that the ways of this world are delightfully seductive, and living for a greater good we cannot fully comprehend seems dull by comparison. Remind us that we are choosing between mortality and eternal life, between the values of this world and your realm of peace. Help us choose what we claim we want. Amen.

*AFFIRMATION OF FAITH “The Apostle’s Creed” UMH #881

*GLORIA PATRI “Glory Be to the Father” UMH #70

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,

World without end. Amen. Amen.


The Old Testament Reading – Introduction to the reading.

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NIV) The people have been in exile for many years. Ezekiel's vision reminds them that the prophetic word is life-giving, raising what is dead and bringing hope. They (and we) are called to trust in God.

Hear now the lesson:

Ezekiel 37:1-14 (NIV2011) 1 The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ” 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. 11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ ”

Leader: The Word of God for the people of God.


The Gospel Reading – Introduction to the reading.

John 11:1-45 (NIV) Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb into new opportunity and new life. Jesus calls us, as well, to leave the deadly choices we have made and accept a new call to live more fully.

Hear now the lesson:

John 11:1-45 (NIV2011) 1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” 45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

Leader: The Word of God for the people of God.


The Epistle Reading – Introduction to the Reading.

Romans 8:6-11 (NIV) We are not only temporal beings, limited to this moment. We are also spiritual beings, looking beyond what is and living as citizens of God's realm so that it may be fulfilled right now.

Hear now the lesson:

Romans 8:6-11 (NIV2011) 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Leader: The Word of God for the people of God.


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

MESSAGE “The Right — and the Left — Side of Power” Pastor John Mitchell


The altar is open to anyone desiring to pray or make a fresh

Commitment to Christ.

*HYMN OF RESPONSE “This Is a Day of New Beginnings” UMH #383


OFFERTORY – Bryan O’Lone


Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.




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. Amen!

*Closing Hymn “Spirit of the Living God” UMH #393

Hymn of the Day

Spirit of the Living God

Daniel Iverson, a Presbyterian minister, wrote the first stanza and music as a response to a sermon on the Holy Spirit. He was attending a revival led by George C. Stephans in Orlando, Florida. The hymn was published by Moody Press in 1935. A second stanza, not always included in hymnals, was written by Michael Baughen for Hymns for Today's Church (1982). Easily learned and memorized, this hymn (with one or two stanzas) makes an excellent response for services of baptism, profession of faith, confirmation, ordination, and commissioning. It also makes a wonderful response to a prayer of the people litany. Where possible, encourage people to sing in harmony.


POSTLUDE – Bryan O’Lone

Thought for the Day

Peace and love are always in us, existing and working, but we are not always in peace and love.

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

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