Sunday, March 22, 2020


110 N. Second Street,
P.O. Box 323 Ripley OH. 45167
Reverend David Harper, Minister
937-515-2995, home
937-515-7070, cell
4th  Sunday of Lent                     
March 22, 2020

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul?  I have rejected him from being king over Israel.  Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.  Samuel said, “How can I go?  If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.”  And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you should do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.”  Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem.  The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”  He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.  Sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.”  And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel.  He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”  Then Jesse made Shammah pass by.  And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”  Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”  Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”  And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”  He sent and brought him in.  Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome.  The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”  Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.  Samuel then set out and went to Ramah        .                                                              –1 Samuel 16:1-3 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are not as alive to the power of worship and liturgy as we once were.  May I suggest that you read through the order of worship prayerfully and thoughtfully.  Ask yourself, or those you are with, Questions.  Pause and ponder the words and images that arise as if God or Christ were speaking.  Feel your way through the texts and hymns.  Consider how they speak to our present time.  Know of the loving relationship in which God holds you.  Imagine others in our faith community who are also reading and praying along with you at home.  After all, especially in hard times, we are one in Christ.                               Sincerely, Dave

MINISTRY OF LIGHT                 
*CALL TO WORSHIP                 
Nothing is visible unless it is exposed to light,
Once we were in the darkness but now we are in the light of Christ.
Walk therefore as children of the light, and take no part in the works of darkness.
Even though we walk in the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil,
for the Lord is with us.
*HYMN OF PRAISE  “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”  No. 57

     Hymn is available by clicking here

SCRIPTURE READING       Ephesians 5:8-14

     Scripture is available by clicking here

Giver of light, we come here today, seeking the way out of our darkness.  O Healer of the blind, let us feel the touch of your clay upon our eyes.  Then we, too, shall bathe in Siloam’s waters.  We shall wash and return seeing, our sight restored.  Your light shall burn within us, O God, and our neighbors shall behold the light of the world.  Amen.

Gracious loving Lord, we face a future unknown.  Once we thought we knew what to expect in life.  There might be surprises but mostly we felt we had some control. Now we hate how uncertain everything feels in spite of politicians and doctors telling  us to be confident.  Let this time show us that our only certainty is you; our only future is your saving grace; our only control is in how much we can love and serve one another as you have loved and served us.  Open our eyes to a new future as it unfolds.  Open our imaginations to new ways to show your love.  Whether we lie down in green pastures or walk through a valley of the shadow of death, be with us and give us peace.  In hope and gratitude for your ever present, steadfast love, in the name of Jesus, 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.

RESPONSIVE PSALTER             Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
     He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me;
     your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercyshall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

A CHILDREN’S PRAYER [2]                                                                          
Like a good shepherd watching over the lambs,
     please watch over us,
     loving Lord Jesus.
When we wander,
     shout after us and call us back.
When we fall down and get dirty,
     lift us up and clean us off.
When we become frightened,
     hold us in your arms.
When we get hurt,
     bandage our wounds.
And when we are playful lambs,
     please watch us with delight.
For your name’s sake.

* HYMN         “Be Thou My Vision”    No. 451

     Hymn is available by clicking here

GOSPEL LESSON          John 9:1-41

Gospel lesson is available by clicking here  

     “Open My Eyes, That I May See”  No. 454

     Hymn is available by clicking here
We are numbered among those whose eyes have been touched with the salve of Jesus Christ.
Amen! Once we were blind but now we can see!
See clearly and walk gently wherever you go this week.
Look gladly on those who encourage, and deal patiently on those who irritate.
See light where others see gloom, and hope where many see defeat.
Look upon weak souls with mercy and face the tough characters without fear.
Travel calmly with the confidence of those who have caught glimpses of a divine glory,
            in and through Christ Jesus our Savior.
The grace of your Brother Jesus will redeem you,
the love of your Eternal Father will undergird you,
and the friendship of your Sisterly Spirit will empower you.

*Indicates standing. If you have difficulty standing, please feel free to remain seated.

WORSHIP WITH TITHES AND OFFERINGS may be mailed to the church at PO Box 323 Ripley OH 45167 with thanks to you and our Lord.

[1] Rev. Carol Harper

[2] Ó B D Prewer 2001