March 22, 2020 Worship from Home

Chilmark Community Church

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fourth Sunday in the Lenten Season

“Through the night of doubt and sorrow, on ward goes the pilgrim band;

Singing songs of expectation, marching to the promised land.”

(Bernhardt Ingemann, translated by Sabine Baring-Gould)

 

Scripture Reading for the day: St John 9:1-41

Welcome to the Chilmark Community Church Family meditation for the week beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020.  Thanks you God that you have led us through another week of corona pandemic uncertainty and social distancing.

My prayer is: Leader us, eternal One, lead us

Through our time of pandemic uncertainty;

Guard us, guide us, keep us, heal us,

For we have no help but you,

Yet possessing every blessing

If our God our Leader be. Amen

                                                   (Adopted from James Edmestom)         

We continue to reflect on our Lenten Theme: Journeying with Jesus – From Galilee to Jerusalem.  Galilee is the place of home and security and Jerusalem the place of uncertainty and pain, but Jerusalem is also the place of Resurrection and eternal life. Our Journey with Jesus is a spiritual journey.

During Lenten we are reflecting on spirituality, understanding spirituality and the place of spirituality in our lives. In our reading for the day the woman at the well, like Nicodemus the week before, had no idea of spiritual things. She understood thing only from a physical point of view.  Our spirituality strengths our inner fortitude and assures us that although we may not know what the future holds, we know God holds our future.  The church is, first and foremost, a spiritual institution. The church suggests and offers to the peoples of the world ways to be closer to God the source of all spirituality. During this time of physical and spiritual crisis we encourage all to spend some time in reflection, self-examination, repentance, self-denial and prayer.  We encourage you to pray for our researchers and scientists, our health care-workers and public servants, and our polities and service workers.

In the reading for Saint John (9:1-41), Jesus heals a man who was born blind. Those who saw what had happened asked Jesus, “Whose sin caused this man to be blind, his or his parents?” Jesus replied, “neither his nor his parents’ sins but that God’s work might be raveled through him.”  The occasion demonstrated that God transformed the man’s blindness into sight – darkness into light!  The man is in fact an example of all of us how have allowed Jesus to transforms our darkness and despair into light and hope. Jesus is the light of the church and the world! Again, the people of Jesus’ day were looking for the physical sins the man or his parents had committed while Jesus was speaking of the spiritual place of God in our lives.

Traveling with Jesus is a spiritual journey – from blindness to sight, from darkness to light, from disbelief to belief, from anxiety to assurance, from insecurity and serenity, from despair to hope and from death to life. As the record of the event goes, sometime later, Jesus came across the man and had a conversation with him. The man had come to believe in Jesus the Christ – the Messiah, the Light of the world.

The life, teaching and example of Jesus dispel our spiritual blindness and lead us on our journeying through these times of uncharted waters.

Very sincerely,

Ernest Belisle (Pastor)

 

Let Us Pray:

O God of the ages, you have always journeyed with humanity – with Abraham and Sarah, with Moses and Joshua, with Mary and Joseph, with Paul and Silas, with the pilgrims and with all our fathers and mothers to the place you promised. Bless and guide all the peoples of the earth who are suffering in any way because of this new corona virus outbreak. Grant to our scientists the wisdom of a cure, calm our anxieties, grant us inner peace and help us to learn to trust in you during this present time of social distancing. We remember that all the sacrifices we make are made for the sake of all humanity. Increase our hope in you and rekindle our vision in Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of the sheep. Speak to us Spirit to spirit as we continue to journey into an unknown future. We pray all these things though Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. 

Amen.

 

Your Personal Prayers and Reflections:

 

The Lord’s Prayer:                 

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.

 

 

The hymn for the day:

Hymn: “He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought” #128 UMH

  1. He leadeth me: O blessed thought!

O words with heavenly comfort fraught!

Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me,  by his own hand he leadeth me;

  1. Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,

sometimes where Eden’s bowers  bloom, by waters still,

o’er troubled sea, still ’tis his hand that leadeth me.

 

Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me,  by his own hand he leadeth me;

  1. Lord, I would place my hand in thine, nor ever murmur nor repine; content, whatever lot I see, since ’tis my God that leadeth me.

Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me, by his own hand he leadeth me;

  1. And when my task on earth is done, when

by thy grace the victory’s won, e’en death’s cold wave
I will not flee, since God through Jordan leadeth me.

 

Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me, by his own hand he leadeth me;

(Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862 (Ps. 23)

 

Closing Prayer: (the Irish Blessing)

May the road continue smooth before you;

          May there be enough light along the way;

May peace greet you at every crossroad

          And joy accompany you to the end.

Through whatever pain and suffering is yours to endure,

          Know that God is in it with you.

Amen

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