Worship Bulletin: 5/26/24

Worship Bulletin: 5/26/24

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, May 26, 2024 @ 10:15 a.m. – Memorial Weekend

♫Gathering Music Hymn Sing | “One was Old another Barren” | Mary Nelson Keithahn ©1997
Sarah & Isaac, Gen. 21:1-7; Elizabeth & John the Baptist, Luke 1:57-64; Mary & Jesus, Luke 2:1-21
(sing to the tune “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”)

1. One was old, another barren, and a third was young and fair,
when God promised wondrous blessings for the sons they were to bear.
Though incredible each promise, yet they trusted and believed,
guarding closely in their hearts the visions that they had received.

2. Sarah must have told her baby, as she calmed his anxious cry,
“God has promised you more children than the stars up in the sky!
Little Isaac, kings and nations will descend from you one day,
destined to inherit blessings if they follow in God’s way.”

3. And Elizabeth, once barren, must have whispered to her son,
“Someday, John, you’ll be God’s herald to announce the Promised One!
Someday you will speak with courage words from God for all to hear,
calling people to repentance, telling them the Christ is near.”

4. Mary must have echoed prophets in her cradle lullabies,
“Jesus, you will be our Savior, Christ the Lord, Love’s great surprise!
Someday I may watch you suffer, and your pain may pierce my soul,
but I trust that God will heal my broken heart and make it whole.”

5. God, we thank you for these mothers and the faith they had to share.
May we also trust your promise for the children in our care,
that through us the Spirit’s blessings may upon them come to fall,
giving them the strength and courage to be faithful to your call.

“My Soul Proclaims with Wonder”
Mary’s Song (the Magnificat), Luke 1:46-56 (sing to the tune of “O Jesus I have Promised)

My soul proclaims with wonder the greatness of the Lord,
rejoicing in God’s greatness, my spirit is restored.
To me has God shown favor, to one the world thought frail,
and ev’ry age will echo the angel’s first “All hail.”     

My soul proclaims with wonder the greatness of the Lord,
rejoicing in God’s greatness, my spirit is restored.
To Abraham’s descendants the Lord will steadfast prove,
for God has made with Israel a covenant of love. 

Video Welcome

Sharing Time | Joys & Concerns | Becky Snell

♫Centering Music
Ellen Gilbert

Opening Unison Prayer | #859 Mennonite Hymnal Voices Together

Gracious God of every place;
Some of us seek you today from mountains of joy and confidence, mountains of gratitude and praise.
Some of us seek you today from valleys of grief or doubt, valleys of loss or exhaustion.
And in all places, there you are with us, beckoning us onward!

When we descend from the heights, show us your presence on the ground.
When we rise from the depths, show us the light of your way.

We pray you will meet us all – on the path made by Jesus. May it be so. AMEN

♫Opening Song | “On Eagle’s Wings”
Lara Schoming, Becky Snell; Song Leaders

Story for the Children | Lara Schoming

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 | “His Eye is on the Sparrow” | arr. Mark Hayes
Tom Hurst, piano

Scripture Foci                                   Genesis     I Samuel     Luke

                                                             Sarah        Hannah        Elizabeth & Mary

Genesis 17:15-22 & Genesis 21: 1-7 (excerpts)
the birth of Isaac foretold – the birth of Isaac – Sarah’s joy

God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come
from her.” Abraham fell facedown; he laughed.  God said, “Your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting
covenant for his descendants after him. My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”

Now God did for Sarah what God had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 

I Samuel 1:1-27 & 2:1-10 (excerpts)
the prayer for Samuel’s birth – the birth of Samuel – Hannah surrenders Samuel – Hannah’s thanks

Elkanah had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none; God had closed her womb. In her deep anguish Hannah
prayed to God, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “God Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but
give her a son, then I will give him to God for all the days of his life.” I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I [am] pouring out my soul to God. 
I have been praying out of my great anguish and grief.

Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and God remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. 
She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked God for him.” [Samuel sounds like the Hebrew for ‘heard by God’]

After he was weaned, she took the boy with her and brought him to the house of God at Shiloh. 
They brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, “Pardon me, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to God. I prayed for this child, and God has granted me what I asked.  So now I give him to God. For his whole life he will be given over to God.”

Then Hannah prayed, “My heart rejoices in God. There is no one holy like God; there is no one besides God; there is no Rock like our God. God brings death and makes alive;
God brings down to the grave and raises up. God sends poverty and wealth; God humbles and God exalts. God raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash
heap. The foundations of the earth are God’s. “God will give strength to God’s king and exalt the strength of the one anointed.”

Luke 1:5-80 & 2:1-21 (excerpts)
the birth of John the Baptist foretold – Zechariah’s unbelief – the birth of John – Zechariah’s praise

There was a priest named Zechariah; his wife [was] Elizabeth. They were childless and they were both very old. An angel of God appeared to Zechariah.
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of God. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the God. And he will go on before the ONE, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the ONE.”

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”
The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be [mute] and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, she said, “God has done this for me,”

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to
circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no
one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his [mute] father, to find out what he would like to name the child. Zachariah asked for a writing tablet,
and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God.

“Praise be to God, God has come to the people. God has raised up the strength of salvation for us in the house of the servant David to enable us to serve God without fear.
You, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the ONE to prepare the way for him.”
And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly.

the birth of Jesus foretold – Elizabeth’s joy  – the birth of Jesus – Mary’s Song

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph. The virgin’s name was Mary. 
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! God is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth
to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over
Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 
She exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!
As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

The time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.
Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus.

“My soul glorifies God and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. The Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is God’s name.
God has … God has … God has … God has … God has … just as God promised.”

♫Scripture Song | “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go” | #577                                       

Message | “Expectation and Praise” | Kathryn Whitacre

♫Sending Song | “Sometimes a Light Surprises”
(sing to the tune of “The Churches One Foundation”)

Sometimes a light surprises the child of God who sings.
The light of one who rises with gentle healing wings.
When comforts are declining, God grants the soul again
a season of clear shining, to cheer it after rain.        

In holy contemplation with joy we shall pursue
the theme of God’s salvation, and find it ever new.
Set free from present sorrow, we cheerfully can say,
let the unknown tomorrow bring with it what it may.

It can bring with it nothing but God will bear us through.
Who gives the lilies clothing will clothe the people, too.
Beneath the spreading heavens no creature but is fed:
the One who feeds the ravens will give the children bread.

Though vine and fig tree neither their yearly fruit should bear;
though all the fields should wither, nor flocks nor herds be there,
yet God, the same abiding, through praise shall tune my voice,
for while in love confiding I cannot but rejoice. 


Unison Sending Words of Affirmation | based on Habakkuk 3:17-18 & Matthew 6:25-34
Though the fig tree does not blossom and there are no grapes on the vines, still I will celebrate.
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, still I will be joyful.
Though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, still I will sing.

The lilies of the field will be clothed, the birds of the air will be fed.
I will not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.

I will rejoice in God, I will PRAISE!

♫Sending Music
Ellen Gilbert

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