Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Sweetwater Presbyterian Church
The Church at Worship
May 24, 2020 Ascension Sunday

Good morning and welcome to the Worship of Sweetwater Presbyterian Church. We are so glad that you are able to join us for this service of worship as we gather together as the people of God!
It is the day of the ascension! We celebrate as our risen Lord raises to heaven to sit at the right hand of God! To work as our advocate; to send us his spirit! The Christ candle is gone from our table, the cross has been put away! We hear as Jesus instructs us to Go into the world with the Gospel!

Prelude

Let us gather ourselves for worship!
Leader:
This is the day the Lord has made
People: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Leader:
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
People: And also with you

And welcome once again as we come together as the people of God!
There are educational packets available in Fellowship Hall for all ages. Stop by and pick one up. These packets help us learn more about the Ascension and Pentecost.
Next Sunday is Pentecost! This is the Sunday we wear red to remember the coming of the tongues of fire bringing the Holy Spirit! Take a picture of yourself or your family wearing red and send it to me and we will still continue to gather and share our red!
We will also have a Pentecost Parade. We will gather in the parking lot and communicate by text to maintain our social distance! Decorate your car with red and we will drive by and greet the members of our congregation!

So now let us take a moment to prepare our hearts for worship!


Our Verse for reflection today comes from Genesis:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Let us call ourselves to worship.

*CALL TO WORSHIP (Psalm 115)
Leader: Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
People: Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
Leader: The highest heavens belong to the Lord
People: it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore.

Hymn
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name!

*Opening Prayer
God of majesty, you led the Messiah through suffering into risen life, and took him up to the glory of heaven. Clothe us with the power promised from on high, and send us forth to the ends of the earth as heralds of repentance and witnesses of Jesus Christ who lives with you now and always in the unity of the Holy Spirit. In the name of the ascended Christ we pray, Amen!
We hear the story of the Ascension of Jesus:

Epistle Lesson: Acts 1:6-11

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Call to Confession

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us; But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith, let us confess our sins to God and to one another. Let us pray together:

Prayer of Confession (Unison)
Lord, too often we forget that you sought us out even when we were yet sinners. So often we choose not to remember it was your love that saved us and not our deserving qualities or nature. (
moment of silent confession). Forgive us, Lord, and help us to reach out to others with the same loving and accepting personal openness you so freely extended to us. In Christ we pray. Amen.

The Assurance of Pardon
It is in the waters of baptism we are assured of our forgiveness

Leader: Hear and believe the good news of the gospel
People: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven!

Let us celebrate as remember what God has done for us in Jesus Christ!


Choral Response: To God Be the Glory V1 #485

Christian Greetings
Knowing the risen and ascended Lord is with you forever, share the peace of our ascended Lord. Think about those in our sanctuary. Think about all the faces and the smiles and your common bond in Jesus Christ!

Because of our separation we have not been collecting our CCM offering. However if you would like to bring donations for CCM, there is a blue bucket outside under the awning of the education building. Stop by and drop off canned goods of any kind and we will get them to CCM!

Now it is the time for our children. Gather them for this special time in the service for them.


Children’s Message

OK kids! Let’s take a walk around our sanctuary and look at the windows!
Did you know our windows tell us the story of Jesus’ life? Let ’s look at the first one. What is this? This is a picture of Jesus’ birth. This is what we celebrate when? Right Christmas!
So Jesus grows up and this window shows the next import part of Jesus’ life…….. it is his baptism. This is when Jesus started doing what God asked him to do.
Jesus began to teach people about how to live….. and the next window shows us how important children were to Jesus. Just like you are to us.
But then they arrested Jesus and as we go to this window we see what happened after they arrested him. He was crucified and died and was buried.
As we continue to walk, we see this angel. Do you know what the angel did? The angel told people that Jesus had risen from the dead.
And the last window is what we are talking about today. It is the ascension. 40 days after Jesus came back from the dead, Jesus rose to heaven to be with God. And what that means is that we get to go to heaven and be with God forever!
Let us pray:
Wonderful God, thank you for the windows in our church which remind us of the life of Jesus. Amen.


Hymn: Come Christians Join To Sing #150


Take a moment now to think about those who need your prayers:

Congregational Prayer with Lord’s Prayer
Almighty God, today we are reminded of your ascended glory; we are reminded that all power is with you, that you came to us once as one of us and then left us once again. In your leaving, you call us to be the persons you have created us to be; you give us a commission to be your representatives in the world. You promise us the Spirit to empower us to fulfill your commission. Without you, good God, we can do nothing. We ask that your presence open our hearts and minds so that we, being filled with you, may be what you want us to be. Come to us, Holy Spirit and fill us, so we may empty ourselves in our serving others, and in our service lead us into a closer and deeper love with you.
Great God, we know that you will never abandon us, especially in those moments when we suffer. Your spirit comforts and counsels when we are distressed and disoriented. And so in confidence we bring to you the needs of our world, our community, our families and our inmost selves.
For those we brought to you this day...... For our unspoken prayer requests and our own needs we now pray silently.... We pray for all the members of our congregation.
We pray for the churches in our Presbytery, for: First Presbyterian Church in Dallas and First Presbyterian Church in Marion.
We pray for all those affected by the pandemic. O God, we ask your presence especially with the families who have lost loved ones to this disease. We ask your protection over all those who are working in the face of danger around them and we pray for wisdom for all the leaders making decisions that affect how we safely more forward.
We thank you, O God, for the measure of faith at work within us. We do not understand fully, but we believe. Thank that you than when we ignore your guiding and comforting presence, you remind us of the Spirit in and among us. Inspire our witness that all may know this gift of faith you provide.
As we begin a new week, help us to take advantage of the new opportunities you put before us. Open our ears to hear and our hearts to respond.
We pray in the name of our ascended savior, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.....


Gospel Lesson Matthew 28:16-20

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Sermon The Ascension

PRESENTATION OF TITHES AND OFFERINGS
There are times when it is appropriate to stand gazing into the heavens. There are times for withdrawing to pray. But there are also times to get to work. As we offer ourselves in the service ofJesus Christ, we return our tithes and gifts to continue the ministry to which you have called us. Let us give generously and with joy as God receives our offering.

DOXOLOGY AND PRAYER OF DEDICATION
For the life you have offered, for the vision you have granted, for the ministry of Jesus Christ that empowers our witness, we give thanks. May these offerings of gratitude extend the positive influence of Christ’s church into parts of the world that have not experience good news. By the act of given, may our own commitment be deepened. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.


*Hymn
Crown Him With Many Crowns #151


*Charge and Benediction
Leader: Jesus lifted his hand and blessed the people.
People: We have received Christ’s blessing.
Leader: While Jesus was blessing them he was taken up into heaven.
People: With hope for the future, we return home with great joy.
Leader: For we have received power from God.
People: Power to be witnesses to our world and nation.

And now our Benediction

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord be kind and gracious to you. May the Lord look upon you with favor and give you peace.
Alleluia! Amen!


Choral Benediction I’ll fly Away