Sunday, March 18, 2018 5 Lent B
Time means that things and people and everything change
Have you ever looked at your baby picture? Are you different now? You have changed in many ways. In fact, you have changed so much that only your parents would know that it is you in your baby pictures.
Sometimes we can see change as it is happening. Sometimes we can see change right now. You blow a bubble, it floats into the air and pops and disappears. You see clouds in the sky and they change shapes and they pass across the sky.
A seed is a tiny thing planted in the soil. It disappears out of sight. A root grows from it and a stem pushes out of the soil and the little seed is gone. It has disappeared. It seems to have died, but it became something else. It changed.
Jesus told the people that his life would be like a seed put in the ground. The seed would be buried and would die. But when Jesus died he came back to life to show people how God would change all of our lives after we die. We will live again. We will always be changing. We change in a big way when we die. But the life of Jesus came to us from God to tell us that we will change again after we die. We will become something like the butterfly breaking out of the cocoon.
Let us accept change. Let us try to make good changes in our lives, being kind and loving and in learning more and more. We can keep changing in good ways and live with hope even though we know that at death we will change in a big way.
Because Jesus changed in a big way when he died and when he reappeared, he gave us the message that when we died we will reappear to be with God.
Everything is changing in big ways and little ways. We can see some changes and some change is so slow we don’t recognize it.
Jesus said at the big change that happen at his death, he would change and live again. And now we do not have to fear the big change of death.
I would like to tell you about Mr. Rose. Mr. Rose like to plant a garden every spring. He loved to plant vegetables. And he liked to have some fun doing it. When Mr. Rose planted his garden, his garden looked like it was decorated for Halloween. At the end of each row in the garden, he would put little tomb stone markers. On one tomb stone, he would write, “Carrot seeds, RIP,(Rest in Peace). On another, “corn seeds, RIP (Rest in Peace). And he would do the same for the other rows of vegetables. And he would set up a Ghost Scarecrow in his garden.
All of the kids in the neighborhood would watch Mr. Rose and his garden that looked like a grave yard. And the joke around town about Mr. Rose was this: “Mr. Rose is burying his seeds in the ground.”
We have read some words of Jesus today. He said, “If a seed is not buried in the ground and die, it will always remain a seed, but if it is put into the ground, it dies, and it becomes a plant that produces fruit and many more seeds.”
Jesus said this to teach us about the change that occurred in his life.
When Jesus lived, only a few people knew who he was. But when he died and rose again, he became the most popular person in the history of the world. Jesus has been gone for more than 2000 years, but we still celebrate his life today. Jesus once lived in Palestine, in Israel. But today, Christ lives in our hearts. Jesus went through many changes in his life. He was a baby, a young boy, and he was great teacher and prophet. And he died. But when he died, he did not stay buried, he became the risen Christ who could be presence to people all over the world.
You and I are going through changes in our lives. We all started out real small and tiny….and we were born as babies and we became children….and we keep changing and growing. When we grow big we lose our smallness and we gain our bigness. When we go to second grade in school, we lose first grade. So we are always losing things in life, but we are always gaining things too.
And when we look at death, we can think that we are losing someone in a very important way. And we are. But Jesus tells us to have hope, because when people die, then we know that God is taking care of them, because we no longer can.
Jesus tells us that our lives are always changing. We are losing some things, but we are gaining better things.
So, when a seed is put into the ground and we know that it is gone forever, we know that the seed will sprout and become a beautiful plant. Jesus wants us to know that God can always bring something beautiful out of everything that happens to us.
This is the hope that we can have today.
St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
17740 Peak Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
March 18, 2018: The Fifth Sunday In Lent
Jesus Loves Me, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, When Jesus Wept, May the Lord
Liturgist: Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
People: His mercy endures forever. Amen.
Liturgist: Oh God, Our hearts are open to you.
And you know us and we can hide nothing from you.
Prepare our hearts and our minds to love you and worship you.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Opening Song: Jesus Loves Me This I Know (All the Best Songs for Kids, # 54)
1 Jesus loves me! This I know, For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
2 Jesus loves me! He who died! Heaven’s gates to open wide. He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
Liturgist: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Liturgist: Let us pray
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
First Litany of Praise: Chant: Praise the Lord
O God, you are Great! Praise the Lord
O God, you have made us! Praise the Lord
O God, you have made yourself known to us! Praise the Lord
O God, you have provided us with us a Savior! Praise the Lord
O God, you have given us a Christian family! Praise the Lord
O God, you have forgiven our sins! Praise the Lord
O God, you brought your Son Jesus back from the dead! Praise the Lord
A Reading from the Prophet Jeremiah
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt-- a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD;
The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
Let us read together from Psalm 51
Create in me a clean heart, O God, * and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence * and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again * and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
Litany Phrase: Thanks be to God! (chanted)
For the good earth, for our food and clothing. Thanks be to God!
For our families and friends. Thanks be to God!
For the talents and gifts that you have given to us. Thanks be to God!
For this day of worship. Thanks be to God!
For health and for a good night’s sleep. Thanks be to God!
For work and for play. Thanks be to God!
For teaching and for learning. Thanks be to God!
For the happy events of our lives. Thanks be to God!
For the celebration of the birthdays and anniversaries of our friends and parish family.
Thanks be to God!
Liturgist: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John
People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. "Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
Liturgist: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.
We did not make ourselves, so we believe that God the Father is the maker of the world.
Since God is so great and we are so small,
We believe God came into our world and was born as Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary.
We need God’s help and we believe that God saved us by the life, death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We believe that God is present with us now as the Holy Spirit.
We believe that we are baptized into God’s family the Church where everyone is
We believe that Christ is kind and fair.
We believe that we have a future in knowing Jesus Christ.
And since we all must die, we believe that God will preserve us forever. Amen.
Litany Phrase: Christ, have mercy.
For fighting and war to cease in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For peace on earth and good will towards all. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety of all who travel. Christ, have mercy.
For jobs for all who need them. Christ, have mercy.
For care of those who are growing old. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety, health and nutrition of all the children in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For the well-being of our families and friends. Christ, have mercy.
For the good health of those we know to be ill. Christ, have mercy.
For the remembrance of those who have died. Christ, have mercy.
For the forgiveness of all of our sins. Christ, have mercy.
Liturgist: The Peace of the Lord be always with you.
People: And also with you.
Song during the preparation of the Altar and the receiving of an offering
Offertory Song: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,
1-When I survey the wondrous cross where the young Prince of Glory died
All the vain thing that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
2-Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small; love so amazing so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Prologue to the Eucharist.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, for to them belong the kingdom of heaven.”
All become members of a family by birth or adoption.
Baptism is the celebration of our birth into the family of God.
A family meal gathers and sustains each human family.
The Holy Eucharist is the special meal that Jesus gave to his friends to keep us together as the family of Christ.
The Lord be with you
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.
It is very good and right to give thanks, because God made us, Jesus redeemed us and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts. Therefore with Angels and Archangels and all of the world that we see and don’t see, we forever sing this hymn of praise:
Holy, Holy, Holy (Intoned)
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Power and Might. Heav’n and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the Highest.
(All may gather around the altar)
Our grateful praise we offer to you God, our Creator;
You have made us in your image
And you gave us many men and women of faith to help us to live by faith:
Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachael.
And then you gave us your Son, Jesus, born of Mary, nurtured by Joseph
And he called us to be sons and daughters of God.
Your Son called us to live better lives and he gave us this Holy Meal so that when we eat
the bread and drink the wine, we can know that the Presence of Christ is as near to us as
this food and drink that becomes a part of us.
And so, Father, we bring you these gifts of bread and wine. Bless and sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. Bless and sanctify us by your Holy Spirit so that we may love God and our neighbor.
On the night when Jesus was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."
After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, "Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."
Father, we now celebrate the memorial of your Son. When we eat this holy Meal of Bread and Wine, we are telling the entire world about the life, death and resurrection of Christ and that his presence will be with us in our future.
Let this holy meal keep us together as friends who share a special relationship because of your Son Jesus Christ. May we forever live with praise to God to whom we belong as sons and daughters.
By Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory
is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.
And now as our Savior Christ has taught us, we now sing,
Our Father: (Renew # 180, West Indian Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father who art in heaven: Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done: Hallowed be thy name.
Done on earth as it is in heaven: Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread: Hallowed be thy name.
And forgive us all our debts: Hallowed be thy name.
As we forgive our debtors: Hallowed be thy name.
Lead us not into temptation: Hallowed be thy name.
But deliver us from evil: Hallowed by thy name.
Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory: Hallowed be thy name.
Forever and ever: Hallowed be thy name.
Amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.
Amen, amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.
Breaking of the Bread
Celebrant: Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People: Therefore let us keep the feast.
Word of Administration.
Communion Hymn: When Jesus Wept (blue hymnal, # 715)
When Jesus wept, the falling tear in mercy flowed beyond all bound; When Jesus groaned, a trembling fear seized all the guilty world around.
Everlasting God, we have gathered for the meal that Jesus asked us to keep;
We have remembered his words of blessing on the bread and the wine.
And His Presence has been known to us.
We have remembered that we are sons and daughters of God and brothers
and sisters in Christ.
Send us forth now into our everyday lives remembering that the blessing in the
bread and wine spreads into each time, place and person in our lives,
As we are ever blessed by you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Closing Song: May the Lord (Sung to the tune of Eidelweiss)
May the Lord, Mighty God, Bless and keep you forever, Grant you peace, perfect peace, Courage in every endeavor. Lift up your eyes and seek His face, Trust His grace forever. May the Lord, Mighty God Bless and keep you for ever.
Liturgist: Let us go forth in the Name of Christ.
People: Thanks be to God!