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April 19th Worship @Briarwood

Sunday, April 19th

Meditation (Psalm 62:5-8):

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Call to Worship:

The angel said to the women, “I know you look for Jesus. He is not here. He is risen.”

O God who makes all things new, we offer our worship and praise.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “We were as good as dead, but God raised us with Christ.”

O God of renewal and new beginnings, we offer our worship and praise.

Jesus said to his disciples: “My yoke is easy and my burden light. Come, find rest for your souls.”

O God of forgiveness and of second chances, we offer our thanks and praise.

Come let us worship God, through Christ, who is our hope and our joy and our new beginning.

Prayer of Approach and Confession:

O God, as we gather together across distance today, we are united in Jesus Christ and we are united in his love. Even in our separation from one another, we confess that we have our life and identity as one people in Christ. As we come to you in worship this day, we realize that we do not need to summon you into our lives, for you are already here. We do not need to call you into the secret places of our hearts, for you are already with us. We do not need to ask your presence with a hurting world, for you are among us in our grief. Grant us the eyes of faith so that we may know you are with us. Open our ears, so that we may hear your voice. Open our minds so that we may know who you are. Make our hearts tender, so that we may receive you.

Gracious God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – as we approach you and acknowledge your presence with us – as we approach you and acknowledge your love – we come also with our prayer of confession. God of compassion and grace, we know well that we do not live faithfully in each day. In these pandemic days we have not trusted you with our lives and with our future. In these days we have not thought enough about how we might serve others. In these days we have been preoccupied with our own thoughts and lives. Forgive us our sin, O living God, and lead us into the way of Jesus – his way of trust and compassion and faithful service. We pray in his name, and through the grace of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Scripture reading and Sermon (Edythe Arnott preaching):

Pastoral Prayer:

“Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I; for you are my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.” (Ps. 61:1-3). God who hears and cares, thank you that we can call out to you when we feel overwhelmed, when we feel faint. We thank you that you came to bring freedom for the captives and healing for the sick. Bring your healing and peace to persons around the world who are suffering in body or mind, at home, or in hospital and long-term care beds. Renew the strength of all those working to help care for the sick. Give them wisdom, encouragement, and compassion in this difficult time. Give wisdom and discernment to political and health care leaders so they can make good decisions.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Compassionate God, provide Rev. Sarina and family with all they need today and through the coming week. Bring them refreshment, healing and hope. For all those who are grieving around the world, bring your comfort and presence into the crying places, the empty places, the heartbroken places.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

God our provider, we thank you for the returning birds heralding the arrival of spring, for the crocuses and daffodils we see popping up in gardens. Thank you for your provision for creation, for your promises that this new season reminds us of. Strengthen those of us who are being stretched to our limits at work. Encourage those among us who are caring for young children while also trying to accomplish other tasks. Bring your calm to those of us who have lost our jobs, to those of us looking on as our investments shrink. Provide for and give wisdom to those of us in financial difficulty. Give perseverance and encouragement to students doing studies online.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Gracious God, thank you for this community of Briarwood. We miss so much gathering together in worship each Sunday morning. We miss sharing in the prayers, hymns and songs. We miss seeing the faces of those we love and care about. We miss saying hello, shaking hands and sharing the peace of Christ. Comfort and reassure us as we worship together even though we are separated. We pray that your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven, and ask for your grace and guidance to help us see the part you want us to play in your plan for the present and the future.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Benediction (Jude 24-25):

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen.

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