Lent Four- Meet me….. in the need of healing

Mar 22, 2020 by

Prelude        O love that will not let me go   

The Lighting of the Christ Candle (perhaps you wish to light your own in your home)


Together, We Come to God


Call to Worship


Once we were in darkness

but now we live in the realm of light.

Once we were in death,

but now we live in the gift of life.

Once we were in bondage

but now we live in the truth of freedom.

Once we walked in the valley,

but now we walk in green pastures

We come to worship the love that knows no limits

and opens our eyes to focus on the light.


*Hymn # 338        Let all things now living


*Prayer of Approach


O God of the seasons, poised at true,

in this season when night and day are equal,

by moonlight and sunlight,

come with your holy light

as we respond to the different calls in our lives.

Be present as we go about our days.

Be the deep well within us

fluidly moving between discipline and mercy,

that we might live in the ebb and flow of your rhythms

knowing that there is a time for all things.



*Sung Response

My soul is at rest





God Speaks to Us


Scripture Reading   1 Samuel 16:1 – 13

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 shall 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 the height of 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.


*Hymn #11   The Lord is my Shepherd      Psalm 23


Scripture Reading      Ephesians 5: 8 – 14

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”


Musical Reflection          I would see Jesus     arr. Martha Shaffer

(This video shows how the hymns of the Sacred Harp tradition are usually sung. MacNeill Choir sings it in a more typical choral style. You’ll just have to imagine the tenors – Gary Purdy, Gary Fleming and Brian Power – belting out the melody!!!)


Gospel Reading    John 9: 1 – 41

As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him,

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered,

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes,  saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).

Then he went and washed and came back able to see.  The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?”

Some were saying, “It is he.”

Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.”

He kept saying, “I am the man.”
But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?”

He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them,

“He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.”

Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided.

So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.”

He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them,

“Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”

His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.”

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said,

“He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.”

He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”

They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”

He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?”

Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.”

The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.”

Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.”
He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him.

Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”
Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.



We Respond to God



*Hymn #670         Amazing Grace


The Offering of Gifts        Be thou my vision   

*Sung Response


Oh give thanks to the Lord


Prayers of the people

You are invited to take a few moments to offer thanks for what we have and to pray for family, friends, congregation, our world.


Closing Hymn #500    Open my eyes that I may see



Once you were in Darkness, now you are children of the Light.

Once you walked through the shadowed valley, now you are led to green pastures.

Once you were blind, now you witness to Christ.

May you leave this space, with a renewed sense of living in the light and love

of the Creator.


*Sung Dismissal

Sung dismissal- Amen


Postlude        This little light of mine





Notes from the piano……..and the computer

I have a put together  a service using the texts for the day, liturgy and you tube clips for the music. The psychologists are telling us to maintain a schedule in these uncertain times and I believe that includes ritual and spiritual practices. It is my hope that you will sit down intentionally with this service on Sunday morning, that those who live with you will join you and that you can participate together in the readings and listening the music – even singing as you feel led!!!   I picked music clips that I felt would  be meaningful to the MacNeill community , that represented how we do music and worship at MacNeill and also included some humour.

I have been in communication with the Deacons today about the plan to go forward with this format in the coming weeks. There is no sermon this week  ( the Gospel is particularly lengthy and intriguing so you can take time to soak in those words) but we are hoping to include a short meditation in the coming weeks. We are working on providing meaningful services for the MacNeill community through the Easter season as determined by the current health crisis. Peace to all.

Leanne Tees

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