Pastor: Israel Kamudzandu:
How we do the Service: I am Praying in this Holy Week and I hope we are all in prayer. Since we cannot meet in person but I be will join you all virtually at 7PM on Thursday as we do this service in our homes, as families and as individuals but God, Son and Jesus Christ will be with us. In a family, you can take turns to read the sections of the liturgy and then take Communion together. At the end of communion, pray to God and pray for yourself, your family, the church, friends, the world and pray for God’s mission. This too shall indeed pass but meanwhile, we remain focused on God.
Instructions: Please have the following with You:
- Bread and a cup of Juice
- Intentional Heart.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
And also with you.
The risen Christ is with us.
Praise the Lord!
to you all hearts are open, all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
John 17: 1-26
Sermon Title: The Power of Jesus’ Prayer to Believers
To Mound City and Blue Mound UMC exiled in your house; on this day, as your shepherd, minister, comforter, exhorter and servant of God, I bring these words to you, we are not alone, but God is with us, we are for God, set apart by God, and prayed over by Jesus Christ on his last day on earth. We are not alone but God is with us!! On this Mound Thursday, a sacred moment; Jesus offers a closing prayer to his disciples, the Church of God. Jesus prays for the Mission of the Church and those who will carry out the mission of God – that is us – dispersed but still united by the Spirit of God. Four faith/spiritual and Good news we need to hear tonight:
- The Glory of God
- The Protection, Plan and Joy of God
- Prayer in unity of the Church
- God’s Mission to us
Our faith in Jesus, allows us to have access not only to God but also to experience the Glory of God. Our new life in God, through Jesus Christ’s ministry, teachings, death, and Resurrection are part and portion of the Gift of God’s grace to us who believe, and so we are not alone but God, Son and the Holy Spirit are on and with us. Second, we are here on earth with all its troubles and torments, yet the world does not direct or define the purposes and directions of a believer’s life but God does, and so our life is not fully our own, life belongs to God in whom we move, live and have our being. Jesus prays for you and the church, “Keep them in your name,” Yes, names have authority and power, but this time Jesus calls upon the Name of God to protect the church, and he prays for the church to submit to God’s plan, and he prays that the church seeks the joy that can only be found in God. This Joy, found in God, does not perish, fade or run out of fashion, this joy is unaffected by coronavirus, not affected by hate, is not even touched by powers of this world and this joy refuses to surrender to fear, sickness and loneliness (1 Peter 1: 4). The Psalmist says, the joy of the Lord is my strength Psalm 28:7; Romans 15:13). So, nothing can change our lives because our being is found in God, who send Jesus Christ to live, die and Resurrect for us with new life, energy and destiny. I hear Jesus, saying to us on this night; “Fear not Mount City and Blue Mound, but believe in me and also believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
On this night Jesus gives us the last commandment – a commandment to bind us together even in times of dispersion, trouble, sickness and death and that commandment is to love one another (verse 26). The cry of God, through his Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit is that, love has not reigned in the hearts, minds and souls of believers. Mound City and Blue Mound may we learn to live in love, speak in love, worship in love, and pray in Love? Without love, there is no church, no healing, know heaven and no peace. Love is the Heart of God, for Jesus, was and is still the heart of God. May all that we do to each other and strangers be done in Love?
In our dispersion, may we realize that tonight we are one in Jesus’ Name? Our oneness is not due to a building but rather we are one because Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one, and so we are surrounded with the Holy Ones, and as such we are controlled, defined and overshadowed by a Spiritual presence of Heaven.
Finally, the work we do, the mission we are doing and will always do, the prayers we are praying, and all we are dreaming to do as Mound City and Blue Mound is not for us but it an extension of Christ, who prayed for the Church, send the Church and is still sending us – propelling us through the power of the Holy Spirit to continue be the church even in times like these. May we seek God at all times, may we access God through Prayer, and as we share the Bread and Blood of the Lamb of God, may we never doubt God, but always activate our faith by believing in God, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and
earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was
conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended
to the dead. On the third day, he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father, and will come again to
judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the
holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
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.
CONFESSION AND PARDON
Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with
our whole heart.
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!
Leader and people: 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 the 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
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 is 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.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your
kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen.
Get Your Bread and Cup and say the Following
The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is given for you, preserve my soul and body unto everlasting life. Amen.
The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for me, preserve my soul and body unto everlasting life. Amen.
DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING
Go forth in peace.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit
be with the us all. Amen.