God’s Promise to Abraham

God With Us

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God’s Promise to Abraham Bulletin and Sermon & Consider Prayer
Genesis 15:1-6 alt Gen 17: 1-8
Luke 3:8 Opt. Psalm 8

Sermon by Rev. Stephen Cook: please attribute https://day1.org/weekly-broadcast/5d9b820ef71918cdf2004067/stephen_cook_on_beyond

Consider Prayer

Prelude Be Not Afraid John Michael Talbot

Opening Prayer
God of our forebears, as your chosen servant Abraham was given faith to obey your call and go out into the unknown, so may your church be granted such faith that we may follow you with courage for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, forever and ever.  Amen.

(Book of Common Worship, Westminster John Knox Press, 1993. pg. 245.)

Call to Worship
In days of old God called Abraham and Sarah:
Come—I am with you; step out in faith.
God speaks still, claiming people of every land and race:
Come—I will bless you, that you may bless others.
In the dark of night, Jesus confirms God’s gift of abiding love.
Come—I will bless you with eternal life.
Heirs of the covenant, let us continue the journey:
Come—let us worship the Lord!

(Rev. Barb Hedges-Goettl)

PC(USA) Online Hymnal worship suggestions for March 8, 2020. https://hymnal.pcusastore.com/Home/

Opening Hymn The God of Abraham Praise
The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above,the Ancient of Eternal Days, the God of love!The Lord, the great I am, by earth and heaven confessed,we bow before your holy name, forever blest.

Your spirit still flows free, high surging where it will.In prophet’s word you spoke of old and you speak still.Established is your law, and changeless it shall stand,deep writ upon the human heart by your strong hand.

Your goodly land we seek, with peace and plenty blest,a land of sacred liberty and Sabbath rest.There milk and honey flow, and oil and wine abound,and trees of life forever grow with mercy crowned.

You have eternal life implanted in the soul;your love shall be our strength and stay, while ages roll.We praise you, living God! We praise your holy name:the first, the last, beyond all thought, and still the same!

Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon
Call to Confession
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith let us confess our sins before God and one another.

Prayer of Confession
Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses against you. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you. Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light, and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior.
(Time of silence for personal confession.)

Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn?
Only Christ! And Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone, a new life has begun. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!

(Book of Common Worship, pages 52-56. Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries
Doxology (Blue, #592) Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

  • Prayer of Dedication Please place gifts in the plate on your way out.

In a world of give and take, in a culture of mend and break,
give us minds, hearts, hands, and wallets for sacrificial care,
to satisfy hunger and thirst everywhere. These and all prayers we offer,
in the name of Love himself, Jesus the Christ.

(Todd Jenkins, Happy To Be a Presbyterian PC(USA) https://www.facebook.com/groups/happy2pcusa)

Hymn of Invocation: Spirit of the Living God5
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me (repeat)
Melt me, mold me, Fill me, use me.

Prayer for Illumination
God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us Amid all the changing words of our generation, speak your eternal Word that does not change. Then may we respond to your gracious promises with faithful and obedient lives; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Old Testament Scripture Genesis 12: 1-4a
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.
Psalm: 1216
I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
The Lord will not let your foot be moved; nor will the one who watches over you fall asleep.
Behold, the keeper of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep,
the Lord watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will preserve you from all evil; and will keep your life.
The Lord will watch your going out and your coming in from this time forth forevermore.

Old Testament Scripture Romans 4: Selected Verses6
What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what had been promised. 22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Message Rev. Elizabeth Wagner

Affirmation of Faith from the Brief Statement of Faith, 1983

In life and at death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

(Book of Common Worship, page 91. Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Closing Hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
Charge and Benediction

Postlude Be Not Afraid The Orchard Enterprises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEOt7yXCaJI&feature=youtu.be

More Narrative Lectionary Resources

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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