March 27, 2022

Reading: Organ Prelude – Prelude On the Irish Air “Clonmell”, setting by Carl Simone

Call to Worship                    Abingdon
L: Like a loving Father, God offers us freedom to choose our own path. 
P: In God’s freedom, we are a new creation. 
L: Like a merciful Mother, God offers us compassion when we lose our way. 
P: In God’s mercy, we are a new creation. 
L: Like a forgiving Parent, God welcomes us home with open arms. 
P: In God’s embrace, we are a new creation. 
L: Come! Let us worship the one who makes all things new. 

Opening Prayer                     Abingdon                                Sandy Stump
Merciful God, you seek the lost sheep of your pasture; you call out to all who have strayed. As the father welcomed the prodigal son home, receive us back into your loving arms. Your steadfast love, O God, knows no bounds. Your loving embrace is always there for us. Be with us in our time of worship, that we may feel your presence and know that you are our true home. Amen. 

Confession                 BOW 477                                           
Almighty and most merciful God, you know the thoughts of our hearts. We confess that we have sinned against you and done evil in your sight. We have transgressed your holy laws. We have disregarded your Word and Sacraments. Forgive us, O Lord. Give us grace and power to put away all hurtful things, that, being delivered from the bondage of sin, we may bring forth fruit worthy of repentance, and from henceforth may ever walk in your holy ways; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Favorite Hymn                      He Touched Me                       UMH 367
1. Shackled by a heavy burden, neath a load of guilt and shame, then the hand of Jesus touched me, and now I am no longer the same. He touched me, O he touched me, and O the joy that floods my soul! Something happened, and now I know, he touched me and made me whole.

2. Since I met this blessed Savior, since he cleansed and made me whole, I will never cease to praise him; I’ll shout it while eternity rolls. He touched me, O he touched me, and O the joy that floods my soul! Something happened, and now I know, he touched me and made me whole.

First Reading – Mark 15:42-46                                 Sandy Stump
42When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.

Tithes & Offerings – Can be sent to 329 N. 5th Street; Reading, PA 19601  Or online HERE

Reading: Chancel choir Offertory – Be Thou My Vision, setting by John Ferguson (UMH 451, Irish tune “Slane”)

Offertory Prayer      
We present these gifts, O God, in the confidence that healing, hope, and wholeness will flourish through them and because of them. Amen

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.

Prayers of the People  Send Prayer requests to Pastor Mandy at office@holycrossumc.com

Hymn             Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross          UMH    301
1. Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land; a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.

2. Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see the very dying form of One who suffered there for me; and from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess: the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.

3. I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face; content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss, my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.

Second Reading – John 19:38-42
38After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. 39Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. 40They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. 41Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. 42And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Message     Rev. Mandy Miller

Hymn             Grace Greater Than Our Sin              UMH   365
1. Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!

2. Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold, threaten the soul with infinite loss; grace that is greater, yes, grace untold, points to the refuge, the mighty cross. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!

3. Dark is the stain that we cannot hide. What can avail to wash it away? Look! There is flowing a crimson tide, brighter than snow you may be today. Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!

4. Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe! You that are longing to see his face, will you this moment his grace receive? Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that will pardon and cleanse within; grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our sin!

Benediction     

Reading: Organ Postlude – Ah, Holy Jesus  (UMH 289) Johannes Brahms