Welcome to ICYMI Worship! ICYMI stands for In Case You Missed It; our ICYMI series gives a brief snapshot of worship each week so that you can worship in your home, on the road, or wherever life takes you.
At Cross of Christ, our basic worship order is based on worship patterns from Hebrew traditions and biblical accounts of the earliest Christians: We GATHER with songs and prayer, We HEAR God’s word, We SHARE a meal of bread and wine, We are SENT into the world to love and serve. Let us know how this format works for you.
TODAY IS THE SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Mercy. Mercy. Mercy. Joseph lives it in Egypt. Jesus preaches it in the gospel. The Spirit guides us into merciful lives with the power of forgiveness to reconcile what is fractured and divided. Such merciful living is the baptismal blessing of having put on Christ. It is the gift of the life-giving Spirit. It is a reflection of the glory of God revealed in the Christ.
“Your Love, O Lord”
O Lord Jesus, make us instruments of your peace, that where there is hatred, we may sow love, where there is injury, pardon, and where there is despair, hope. Grant that we may seek to console, to understand, and to love in your name, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
THIS WEEK’S READINGS
Genesis 45:3-11, 15 Many years after being sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph reveals himself to them. Now the second in-command in Egypt, Joseph reassures his brothers that God has used their evil intentions for good, to preserve life during a devastating famine, and Joseph forgives them.
Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40 The lowly shall possess the land; they will delight in abundance of peace. (Ps. 37:11)
1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 In the Apostles Creed, we speak of the “resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” Using the metaphor of a planted seed and the story of Adam, Paul preaches passionately about the mystery of following Christ’s perfect life into eternity.
THIS WEEK’S GOSPEL
Luke 6:27-38 Jesus continues to address a crowd of his disciples. He invites his followers to shower radical love, blessing, forgiveness, generosity, and trust even to enemies and outsiders. Living in harmony with God’s intent brings the reward of overflowing blessing.
PASTOR DAVE’S SERMON SNAPSHOT: “Not Asparagus!”
Noted New Testament scholar Richard Jensen in his book, Preaching Luke’s Gospel offers this take on Jesus calling his followers to go beyond what is merely fair in order demonstrate to the world God’s grace. He writes:
Jesus’ word for us today is: “I call you to live your lives out of an alternative vision of reality. I call you to live your lives as lives that reverse the values of this culture. I call you to love your enemy; turn the other cheek; give your possessions to those in need and judge not the lives of others. Be merciful even as I am merciful. I have come to nourish your entire life with my mercy. I have come to empower you with mercy in order that you may, indeed, live a new kind of life in this world.”
I don’t know about you, but hearing this calling, for me, it’s like my mom telling me when I was little that I should love asparagus. I mean, yuck and no and why and how?!
But we have some blessings even Moses didn’t have. First, we have the model of Jesus. Second, we have the Second Testament, willed with accounts of ordinary people just like us doing exactly these kinds of extraordinary things. And third, we have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit poured into our hearts as the waters of baptism are poured over our heads
Finally, we have one another, and not just this congregation, but the whole church, the catholic, universal church. We need to remember that it is together that we are called to love in this radical, counter-cultural, Christ-like way. And one way to be able to love our enemies is to practice this kind of love among our Christian family.
So, eat your asparagus. It’s good for you. And it can be wonderful, too. And love as you are loved by God, who, while we were yet far off, sent us his Son, our model, mentor and Messiah. Thanks be to God. Amen.
SONG OF THE DAY
“God, When Human Bonds are Broken”
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
Let us pray for the Church, the world, and for all in need. Each petition will end “Lord in your mercy,” to which the congregational response is “Hear our prayer.”
You call us to love, O Lord, as you first loved us. Inspire us to love guided by our convictions and not merely our emotions. Help us to be loyal, faithful, and true in all our relationships. Show us the way to love even our enemies, as your Son taught and modelled. Let your love reign in us. Lord, in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
You call us to generosity, O Lord, as you have been generous to us. Help us to respond kindly to those in need. Stir us to share the blessings we receive from you. May we indeed do unto others as we would have done unto us. Let your generosity reign in us. Lord, in your mercy…
Hear our prayer.
You call us to care, O Lord, as you care for us. Motivate us to support one another in difficult times. Stir us to prayer and to action. Use us to care for our neighbors near and far, and for members of Cross of Christ and their loved ones. We lift to you those who have asked for our public prayers: Nancy and Kenny Anderson and family, Anna Bero, former member John Boyd, Lois Corwin, Ellie Dennison, Linda Ernst, Phyllis Hahn, Audrey Harris, Ruth Huehnerhoff, Eileen Johnson, Priscilla Kanestrom, LaNita Landru, Wanda Nelson’s daughter Nyra and her great-granddaughter Kierra, Marlys Paulson, Phil Tjelle, Marilyn Van Brero, and Bev Walker. We stand with those who worry, grieve, and mourn, including Mark Buettemeier and family at the death of his father, Carl; and Lisbeth Nielsen at the death of her father May your mercy reign in us. Lord, in your mercy…
Hear our prayer
Receive our prayers and fill us with the radiance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
“Ubi Caritas et Amor”
On the night in which he was betrayed, our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me. Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This cup is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me. All are welcome to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist.
YOUNG CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ARE INVITED TO THE “PRAY-GROUND” – This special space in the Sanctuary is designed for our youngest worshippers and their families. Children age 8 and under are welcome to color, play games, enjoy age-appropriate books, and just have their own space in the back of the transept – the southeast corner of the Sanctuary. We LOVE having children in worship! We hope this special place helps make them and their families feel both welcome and comfortable.
ADULT FAITH FORMATION TODAY – We continue our study of the action-packed book of Acts. Pastor Dave is our guide between services, 10:15 to 10:55 am, in the Library.
CHILDRENS’ SUNDAY SCHOOL – Welcomes kids age 4-10 to the Youth Room this morning from 10:15 to 10:55 am. Join Miss Kristie for a fun time of learning about God’s love for you!
LECTORS NEEDED – It adds so much to our worship services to hear the Word of God read by many voices. Thanks to all who have signed up to be a lector. Recently, however, we have had a lot of open opportunities unfilled for this valuable role. Would you please consider reading a lesson at an upcoming service? To sign up, visit the Cross of Christ website at www.crossofchristbellevue.org and clicking on the “Volunteer” link.
TANZANIA 2020 TEAM MEETING TODAY – at 12:30 pm, in the Library. This is a make-up meeting from a previous one lost to the snow! Note we are meeting at Cross of Christ. Next month’s meeting, on Sunday, March 10, will be at the Pohles’ home, potential site of our summer fundraiser. Asante!
CofC HOSTING CONGREGATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS – We are in the last few days of hosting CFH staff and clients. Thanks to all who have done so much – especially with the wild weather we’ve had this month! We continue to welcome volunteers to come visit with the men, and we are also still in need of people who are willing to come to set up for evening meals. We ask for prayers for the men who are experiencing homelessness, the staff and volunteers of CFH. Please contact Ann Huseby, Jay or Kay Marsh, or Nadine or Sterling Bentsen to participate or to learn more.
PARKING LOT HOSPITALITY – As a reminder, we have three parking spots reserved for “Courtesy and Visitor Parking.” These are intended for those who might need them most – like those with temporary mobility limitations, families with young children, and expectant mothers. Please help “Welcome All’ by not parking in these spaces if you are able to walk a few steps farther. Also, please remember that all spaces marked as reserved for handicapped can only be used by those with authorized handicap license plates or rear-view mirror placards. These spaces are occasionally monitored by Bellevue Special Parking Enforcement. Thanks for practicing parking lot hospitality!
PRAYERS FOR HOMEBOUND MEMBERS – Ed and Phyllis Hahn, Doris Lundquist, Ruth Huehnerhoff, Bill and Betty McConnell, Mary Moen, Marlys Paulson, Jane Pittenger, Norman Stromer, and Marilyn Van Brero.
NAME TAGS ARE SIGNS OF WELCOME – You’re encouraged to wear your Cross of Christ name tag to worship each Sunday. This simple act helps people get to know one another, is welcoming for guests, and is greatly appreciated by the pastor (who, try as he might, occasionally temporarily forgets names!). If you have misplaced your name tag, Office Administrator Judy Giseburt would happily make you a new one. Contact Judy in the office at 425-746-7300 or at email@example.com.
FAMILY & WOMEN’S EMERGENCY SHELTER UPDATES – The Family Shelter is now at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church at 17222 NE 8th Street. The numbers are lower now, averaging about 15, so if you have signed up to provide a meal, please check the calendar periodically for current numbers. The Women’s Shelter is now at Lakeside Christian in Kirkland, 701 1st Street. They average 40 to 45 women per night.
SYNOD ASSEMBLY DELEGATES NEEDED – FINAL CALL! – The Northwest Washing Synod of the ELCA is engaged in a call process for our next Bishop. A new Bishop will be elected at this year’s Synod Assembly, May 17-19. Current Bishop Kirby Unti is not seeking re-election. The time for surveys and nominations has passed. Now the Synod’s Nomination Committee is connecting with nominees to ask if they are willing to allow their name to go forward in the process, and to serve if elected at the Assembly. Cross of Christ is eligible to send both Pastor Dave and Pastor Judy along with up to four lay members as voting delegates to the Assembly. Others may attend as visitors (no voice or vote privileges). Cross of Christ may send to the Assembly one female and one male delegate, one youth and one young adult delegate. At our last Annual Meeting, the Congregation voted to delegate the selection of Assembly delegates to the Church Council. If you are interested in being considered as a delegate, please speak with Pastor Dave or Council President Gale Hill, firstname.lastname@example.org. The nominating process for Synod Assembly Delegates concludes at the end of this month. Thank you.
“Holy is the Lord”
By God’s grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are called to
Grow in Faith
Share the Gospel
Serve others, and
Thanks be to God!