Church Services


March 22, 2020 - 4th Sunday in Lent


Call to Worship

Pastor: Spiritual blindness is the refusal to see that we need God's forgiveness.

People: We are all blind to some degree and need God to open our eyes, that we may see our sin and his love.

Pastor: Christ is the light which shines upon us, giving us the sight we need.

People: May Christ shine his light upon us, and heal our spiritual blindness.

Opening Prayer: O Lord God, our heavenly Father, who heals the blindness of man's sinful behavior by the light of your only Son, Jesus our Savior: Touch our hearts, that our spiritual sight may be restored, letting us see clearly the life you are calling us to live. In our Savior's name we pray. Amen.


Opening Hymn: "Open My Eyes, That I May See" red # 454

1. 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.

Refrain 1:

Silently now I wait for Thee,

Ready my God, Thy will to see,

Open my eyes, illumine me,

Spirit divine!

2. 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.

Refrain

3. Open my mind, that I may read

More of Thy love in word and deed;

What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?

Only for light from Thee I plead.

Refrain

4. 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.

Refrain


Prayer Hymn: "When We Walk with the Lord" red # 467

When we walk with the Lord

In the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way;

While we do His good will,

He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey,

For there's no other way

To be happy in Jesus,

But to trust and obey.

2

Not a shadow can rise,

Not a cloud in the skies,

But His smile quickly drives it away;

Not a doubt or a fear,

Not a sigh or a tear,

Can abide while we trust and obey.

3

Not a burden we bear,

Not a sorrow we share,

But our toil He doth richly repay;

Not a grief or a loss,

Not a frown or a cross,

But is blest if we trust and obey.

4

But we never can prove

The delights of His love,

Until all on the altar we lay;

For the favor He shows,

And the joy He bestows,

Are for them who will trust and obey.

5

Then in fellowship sweet

We will sit at His feet,

Or we'll walk by His side in the way;

What He says we will do;

Where He sends, we will go,

Never fear, only trust and obey.


Joys and Concerns: Continue to lift those in prayer from Friday's list: Remember those who are home recuperating; Barb who is going through radiation treatments; Asbury South UMC, who was flooded on Friday and others affected by flooding; those suffering from and who have lost love one from the coronavirus; those who been laid off from jobs; students learning online; those trying to work at home online; and those still going into work.


Lord's Prayer

Today's Scripture Readings: 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Psalm 23, Ephesians 5:8-14,


John 9:1-12 1 As he went 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"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

6 Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes. 7 "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam" (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, "Isn't this the same man who used to sit and beg?" 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, "No, he only looks like him." But he himself insisted, "I am the man."

10 "How then were your eyes opened?" they demanded.

11 He replied, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see."

12 "Where is this man?" they asked him. "I don't know," he said.

3. Jesus tells us


Sermon: "Spiritual Blindness"

How are we blinded? Are we blinded by fear? or anger? or denial? Or maybe like the Pharisees who were blinded by power or authority?

Maybe we are blinded by this whole pandemic? We have all seen the news, reports of empty grocery shelves, people hoarding paper products, stories can go on and on.

Well, this scripture lesson can speaks to us.


1. Jesus sees the blind man. I wonder how many people had gone by the blind man and not noticed him. But, Jesus sees and Jesus sees us in our blindness, our pain, our problems, our struggles. when no one else can see us, Jesus does!

How many times when asked, "How are you?" our immediate response is, "Fine!" whether it really is or not. Jesus knows our every weakness. He knows our need for Him. We are blinded in thinking we can do it on our own. But actually only Jesus can heal us.

2. Jesus heals the blind man and the healing is to show, "that the work of God might be displayed in his life." How is God wanting to heal you so that God's work might be displayed? How is Jesus working in your family? the world? In all the craziness that is going on today think of goodness that is happening.

Parents and children are spending more time together. Many have cried they wanted life to slow down, and it has. In the midst of all of this, spring continues to come and there are new signs of life.

During the Christmas season of 1879, a newspaper reporter in Boston saw three little girls standing in front of a store window full of toys. One of them was blind.

Coming closer, he heard the other two trying to describe the playthings to their friend. He said he had never thought of how difficult it would be to explain what something looks like to someone who has never been able to see. That incident became the basis for a newspaper story.

"Two weeks later this same reporter attended a meeting conducted by Dwight L. Moody. His purpose was to catch the great evangelist in some inconsistency and expose him. He was greatly surprised, therefore, when Moody used the reporter's own newspaper account of the three children to illustrate a spiritual truth. "Just as the blind girl couldn't visualize the toys," said Moody, "so an unsaved person can't see Christ in all His glory." He said that God opens the eyes of anyone who acknowledges his sin and accepts the Savior in humble faith. The newsman was touched by Moody's words and saw that he too was blind and in need of Christ's healing touch." (Source: ILLUSAURUS.)


3. Jesus tells us, "I am the light of the world." And John 1:1-13 states:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.


We are His Children! We are to count on Christ and see his light! We are called to reflect his light to others.! Amen.

Closing Hymn: "Be Thou My Vision" red # 451

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;

Thou my best thought, by day or by night;

Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise;

Thou mine inheritance, now and always;

Thou and Thou only, first in my heart;

O King of glory, my treasure Thou art.


O King of glory, my victory won;

Rule and reign in me 'til Thy will be done;

Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;

Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.


Benediction : Go Now In Peace red # 665

"Go now in peace, go now in peace, may the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go"