Holy God, we thank you that you receive us not according to our failing goodness, but according to your overflowing grace. You receive us as we are. You show us what we can be. Sweep over us with your Spirit, change us by your love, that we may sing with joy before you, and live to your glory in the world.
Prayer of Confession:
Gracious and Loving God, you call us to love one another as you love us, and to let your Spirit guide and your word lead us each day. We confess that we do not always open our lives to you and through you, to one another. We so often act as if we are alone, as if there was nowhere to turn. Forgive us God. Heal our broken hearts, unite our broken families, and mend our broken world.
Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 23: 1-7 NRSV (source)
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.” Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, “As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt,”
Gospel Lesson: John 15: 5-9 NRSV (source)
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
- No. 275 – God of Our Life
- No. 314 – Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song
- No. 543 – Abide with Me
Solos performed by Catherine Carter
“Who Are The Branches?” – Rev. Scott G. Loomer
Affirmation of Faith: Colossians 2:6-10
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.