Worship Bulletin: 3/17/24

Worship Bulletin: 3/17/24

Welcome to Worship at the McPherson Church of the Brethren
We invite your active participation in the life of this congregation, as together we continue to grow in grace and seek justice for God’s creation.

Sunday, March 17, 2024 @ 10:15 a.m. – Fifth Sunday in Lent

Gathering Music | “Awake, Thou Wintry Earth” | arr. Lani Smith
Ellen Gilbert, organ

Video Welcome

Sharing Time | Joys & Concerns | Ann Stover

♫Centering Music | “Lamb of God” with “Jesus Paid It All” | Twila Paris
Ellen Gilbert, piano

Opening Unison Prayer | Fred Pratt Green | “O Christ the Healer” (adapted)
We come before you God, praying for health;
pleading for ourselves, friends, family and yes God, even our enemies . . .

Our need for well-being is sometimes physical, sometimes mental but is often a deep desire for Spiritual Wellness.

We pray that you will grant us wholeness of body, mind and Spirit, that we will be made one in faith.

We trust to be restored knowing that your compassion never fails –
your mercy and grace overflow – your Love is limitless.

May we be worthy.  AMEN

♫Opening Song | “Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service” | #369

Story for the Children | Barbara Wagoner

Video Invitation to Give
Give online or send a check made payable to “McPherson Church of the Brethren,” 200 N. Carrie, McPherson, KS 67460

♫Musical Offering | “Were You There?” | arr. Rick Heffler
Bryan Hess, viola; Ellen Gilbert, piano

Message | “Love, Compassion . . .” | Kathryn Whitacre | John 11:1-57 | The Raising of Lazarus

Lazarus Dies . . . Jesus Loves . . . the Plot to Kill Jesus; begins

Lazarus is Deathly Ill | John 11:1-4
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick . . . Mary and her sister Martha . . . [they were his sisters]
sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick” . . . 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.” 

♫Scripture Song | “Steal Away to Jesus” | #612
Cara Hudson, leader; Refrain, congregation

Love Returns Jesus to Judea | John 11: 5-16
. . . Jesus loved Martha and her sister [Mary] and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick,
he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said, 8 “But Rabbi, a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” . . . he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen
asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death . . . 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.”

♫Scripture Song | “The Hand of God Shall Hold You”
Congregation, refrain; Cara Hudson, verses

Jesus Offers Comfort | John 11: 17-34
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days . . . many had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
Martha said to Jesus, 21 “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died . . . 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” . . .
“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.
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, . . . he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 

♫Scripture Song | “Be Still My Soul”    

Jesus Grieves | John 11: 35-37
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

♫Scripture Prayer/ Song | “When Grief is Raw” | Brian Wren, text; Benjamin Bergery, music                                      


  1. When grief is raw and music goes unheard and thought is numb, we have no polished phrases to recite.
    In Christ we come to hear the old familiar words: *Sung congregational response
  2. God, give us time for gratitude and tears, and make us free to grieve, remember, honor, and delight.
    Let love be strong to bear regrets and banish fears: *Sung congregational response
  3. The height and breadth of all that love prepares soar out of time, beyond our speculation and our sight.
    The cross remains to ground the promise that it bears: *Sung congregational response
  4. All shall be judged, the greatest and the least, and all be loved, till every hurt is healed,
    all wrong set right. In bread and wine we taste the great homecoming feast, and in the midst of death we are in life: *Sung congregational response

Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead | John 11: 38-44
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. . . 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.”

♫Scripture Song | “Awake, Arise, O Sing A new Song” | #56
(1 time in Unison – 3 times in a round)

The Plot to Kill Jesus | John 11: 45-57
. . . many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had
done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. They asked, “What are we accomplishing? Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we
let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who
was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” . . .
53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he
stayed with his disciples.
55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for
Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 

♫Scripture Song | “We Shall Overcome”

Unison Words of Response | Nancy Johnson (adapted)

ALL:    We are called out of dark places and offered the grace of new life.
We are called out of complacency and set free from what binds us.
ONE:   May – God – the Creator of Life – surprise you with the breath of the Spirit.
May – God – fill your life with compassion, love and the courage to follow Jesus.  May it be so.

Jesus Anointed at Bethany | John 12:1-11
12 Six days before the Passover [the festival], Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor.
Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet
and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray
him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but
because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus replied. “Leave her alone. It was intended that she should save this
perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.” 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was
there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 
11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

Anointing Words: “I anoint you for wholeness in body, mind and spirit. May you be restored!”

♫Scripture Song | “Anoint us Lord” | #631

♫Sending Music | “Grave” from Fantasia in E | J.S. Bach
Ellen Gilbert, organ

Videography and Editing: Eric Goering
Music Coordinator: Ellen Gilbert

Choir Director: Becky Snell
Technical Crew: Eric Goering, Ryan Goering, Shane Kirchner, Steve Lolling & Chris Whitacre
Chancel Decoration Team: Jill Brax, Colleen Gustafson, Michele Johnson, Shane Kirchner & Lara Schoming

Sunday, March 24 | Palm/Passion Sunday | Worship at 10:15 am

John 12:12-17
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King – the ‘Triumphal Entry’
John 12:20-36
Jesus Predicts His Death
John 13:1-17
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
John 13:18-30
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
John 13:31-38
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denials
John 18:15-18 – John 18:25-27
Peter Denies Jesus Three Times
John 18:1–14 – John 18:19-24 – John 18:28-40 – John 19:1-16
Jesus is Arrested, Questioned, and Sentenced to Death

Thursday, March 28 | Love Feast | 6:30 – 7:30 pm | Social Room – Sanctuary Building

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 & John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Feet/Hand Washing, Shared light Community Meal, Bread & Cup Communion
Love Feast celebrates what the earliest Christians called agape: the outflowing love that seeks not to receive but to give.
Jesus taught us this practice, sharing with his disciples a last, loving meal the night before he died.
He washed the disciples’ feet, ate supper with them, sought to draw them closer into the fold of his love, and offered them the symbolic bread and cup.
During Love Feast, we repeat these simple, meaningful acts.
We lovingly wash each other’s feet (hands), then enjoy a light meal and fellowship together.
Quietly we share communion, the bread and the cup that remind us of Jesus’ great gift.
We renew our commitment to follow his example of sacrificial love.                    

Friday, March 29 | Good Friday

John 18:1 thru 19:42
This is the day when Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. So why is it called Good Friday?

. . . according to Fiona MacPherson, senior editor at the Oxford English Dictionary, the adjective traditionally “designates a day on (or sometimes a season in) which religious
observance is held”.
The OED states that “good” in this context refers to “a day or season observed as holy by the church”, hence the greeting “good tide” at Christmas or [good tide] on Shrove
In addition to Good Friday, there is also a less well-known Good Wednesday, namely the Wednesday before Easter. The earliest known use of “guode friday” is found in The
South English Legendary, a text from around 1290.
According to the Baltimore Catechism (the standard US Catholic school text from 1885 to the 1960s) Good Friday is good because Christ 
“showed His great love for humans, and purchased for them every blessing”.
The Catholic Encyclopedia (first published in 1907) states that the term’s origins are not clear.
It says some sources see its origins in the term “God’s Friday” or Gottes Freitag, while others
maintain that it is from the German Gute Freitag. 
It notes that the day was called Long Friday by the Anglo-Saxons and is referred to as such in modern Danish. It also says that the day is known as “the Holy and Great Friday” in
the Greek liturgy, “Holy Friday” in Romance Languages and Karfreitag (Sorrowful Friday) in German.    @BBCNewsMagazine 

Saturday, March 30 | Holy Saturday
Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42
Holy Saturday is the day between Good Friday and Easter Day.
It is a continuation of the sorrow of Good Friday, when Christians of all traditions remember the disciples’ hopelessness in the wake of Jesus’s death on the cross; when they are
unsure whether to believe that he will rise from the dead, as he said he would.
In the early church, the day was marked by fasting and preparation. ‘Holy Saturday’ is also referred to as ‘Low Saturday’ (referring to ceasing of celebration) and sometimes
‘Easter Eve’.

Sunday, March 31 | Easter | Worship at 10:15 am

Psalm 118
“The Stone that the Builder Rejected . . .”

The word “Easter” comes from Old English, meaning simply the “East.”
The sun which rises in the East, bringing light, warmth, and hope, is a symbol for the Christian of the rising Christ, who is the true ‘Light of the World’.