Worship Guide - Fourth Sunday in Lent

Worship Guide

March 19, 2023

Fourth Sunday in Lent


Creating Disciples of Jesus who Transform the World






Minister: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!

People: And also with you!



Special Music: “Give Me Thy Heart” Stefanie and Mike


Centering Words:


Be Thou our vision, O God. Be our eyes. Be our hearts. Be the grace that flows through our lives. Only with your eyes can we see rightly.


*Call to Worship:


Leader:   Dawn is breaking. Christ’s light is shining.

People:   The Light of the world shines in our lives.

Leader:   Put aside the cares of the night.

People:   In the Lord, we live in the light.

Leader:   Even in the darkest valley, God illuminates our path.

People:   Even in times of despair, hope shines forth.

Leader:   Sleeper, awake! Christ’s light is shining.

People:   The Light of the world shines in our lives.

Leader:   Let us pray.


ALL: Light of all lights, be our vision this day. Open our eyes to behold your glory. Open our hearts to the warmth of your love. Open our minds to the flame of your truth. Open our souls to the glory of living as children of light, that others may see in our living the sacred mystery of your kingdom. Amen.


Hymn: Light of the World”


You are the Light of the World, O Lord,

and you make your servant shine.

So how could there be any darkness in me

if you are the Light of the World?

You are the Light of the World.


You are the Bread of Life, O Lord, broken to set us free.

So how could there be any hunger in me

if you are the Bread of Life?

You are the Bread of Life.


You've overcome the world, O Lord, and given us victory.

So why could I fear when trouble is near

if you've overcome the world?

You've overcome the world.




Words of Assurance


Israel’s shepherd is our shepherd.

The Light that lead us through the darkest valleys anoints us with love, fills our cup to overflowing, and brings us goodness and mercy all the days of our lives.



*Old Testament Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13


1 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.” 2 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.’ 3 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.” 4 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?” 5 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.


6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” 7 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.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 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.” 12 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.” 13 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.




Time with Young Friends:   “Jesus Loves Me”


Children’s Message: “Jesus Makes Claims About Himself”


Hymn: “Open My Eyes, That I May See”


Open my eyes, that I may see

glimpses of truth thou hast for me;

place in my hands the wonderful key

that shall unclasp and set me free.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my ears, that I may hear

voices of truth thou sendest clear;

and while the wave notes fall on my ear,

everything false will disappear.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my ears, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Open my mouth, and let me bear,

gladly the warm truth everywhere;

open my heart and let me prepare

love with thy children thus to share.


Silently now I wait for thee,

ready my God, thy will to see.

Open my heart, illumine me,

Spirit divine!


Sermon: “In the Presence”  John 9:1-41


1 As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 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, 7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8 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?” 9 Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 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.”


12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 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.” 16 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. 17 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.”


18 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 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 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.” 22 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. 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”


24 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.” 25 He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 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?” 28 Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.


35 Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may  believe in him.” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. 39 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.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.




Prayers of the People :Joys and concerns

   Silent Prayer, Pastoral Prayer




Invitation, Prayer of Confession and Pardon:


Christ our Lord invites to his table

all who love him,

who earnestly repent of their sin

and seek to live in peace with one another.

Therefore, let us confess our sin before God

and one another.


Merciful God,

we confess that we have not loved you

with our whole hearts.

We have failed to be an obedient church.

We have not done your will,

we have broken your law,

we have rebelled against your love,

we have not loved our neighbors,

and we have not heard the

cry of the needy.

Forgive us, we pray.

Free us for joyful obedience,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Hear the good news:

Christ died for us while we were yet sinners;

that proves God's love toward us.

In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!


In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Glory to God. Amen


 The Great Thanksgiving  


The Lord be with you

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God

It is right to give our thanks and praise.


It is right, and a good and joyful thing,

always and everywhere

to give thanks to you,

Father Almighty, creator of

heaven and earth.

You formed us in your image and

breathed into us the breath of life.

When we turned away, and our love failed,

your love remained steadfast.

You delivered us from captivity,

made covenant to be our sovereign God,

and spoke to us through your prophets.

And so,

with your people on earth

and all the company of heaven

we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven 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.


Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ.

Your Spirit anointed him

to preach good news to the poor,

to proclaim release to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

and to announce that the time had come

when you would save your people.

He healed the sick, fed the hungry,

and ate with sinners.

By the baptism of his suffering,

death, and resurrection,

you gave birth to your church,

delivered us from slavery to sin and death,

and made with us a new covenant

by water and the Spirit.

When the Lord Jesus ascended,

he promised to be with us always,

in the power of your Word and Holy Spirit.


On the night in which he gave himself up for us, he took bread, gave thanks to you, broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Take, eat; this my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me."


When the supper was over, he took the cup,

gave thanks to you, gave it to his disciples, and said:


"Drink from this all of you;

this is my blood of the new covenant,

poured out for you and for many

for the forgiveness of sins.

Do this, as often as you drink it

in remembrance of me."


And so,

in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,

we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving

as a holy and living sacrifice,

in union with Christ's offering for us,

as we proclaim the mystery of faith


Christ has died;

Christ is risen;

Christ will come again.


Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here,

and on these gifts of bread and wine.

Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ,

that we may be for the world the body of Christ,

redeemed by his blood.

By your Spirit make us one with Christ,

one with each other,

and one in ministry to all the world,

until Christ comes in final victory,

and we feast at his heavenly banquet.


Through your Son Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church,

all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father,

now and forever.   Amen


And now with the confidence of children of God, let us pray:


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

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


Sharing of the Cup and Loaf

Moment of Prayer and Meditation

Prayer of Thanks


Eternal God, we give you thanks

for this holy mystery

in which you have given yourself to us.

Grant that we may go into the world

in the strength of your Spirit,

to give ourselves to others,

in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.





Hymn: “Since Jesus Came into My Heart”


What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought

since Jesus came into my heart!

I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,

since Jesus came into my heart!


Since Jesus came into my heart,

since Jesus came into my heart,

floods of joy o’er my soul

like the sea billows roll,

since Jesus came into my heart.


I have ceased from my wandering and going astray,

since Jesus came into my heart!

And my sins, which were many, are all washed away,

since Jesus came into my heart!


Since Jesus came into my heart,

since Jesus came into my heart,

floods of joy o’er my soul

like the sea billows roll,

since Jesus came into my heart.


I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,

since Jesus came into my heart!

And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,

since Jesus came into my heart!


Since Jesus came into my heart,

since Jesus came into my heart,

floods of joy o’er my soul

like the sea billows roll,

since Jesus came into my heart.


There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,

since Jesus came into my heart!

And the gates of the City beyond I can see,

since Jesus came into my heart!


Since Jesus came into my heart,

since Jesus came into my heart,

floods of joy o’er my soul

like the sea billows roll,

since Jesus came into my heart.


I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know,

since Jesus came into my heart!

And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,

since Jesus came into my heart!


Since Jesus came into my heart,

since Jesus came into my heart,

floods of joy o’er my soul

like the sea billows roll,

since Jesus came into my heart.


Blessing for Service


The church is a family. United by the common recognition of Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are all brothers and sisters. And for a time, Crandall UMC is our home.

Like every human family, our church family is formed and reformed over time: as member are born, as they die, as members are adopted into our family, and as they leave our congregation for a new home, in a different place.

For a time, Mike and Donna have lived with us. We have shared with each other good times and bad, we have shared each other’s joys and sorrows, we have lightened each other’s heavy loads. Together we have laughed and cried, together we have sung, worshiped and praised God, together we have lived.


We feel sorrow in your leaving, yet we rejoice with you in anticipation of this new phase of your life. We will miss your love and support, yet we know you will add much to the lives of those who will be your new church family, as you have added much to our lives.

We will pray for you and for the whole family of God.

Let us pray: O God, you are the strength and the protector of your people. We humbly place in your hands, Mike and Donna, who are about to leave us. Keep and preserve them, O Lord, in all health and safety, both of body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord.