PRELUDE:  Legende (Op. 5, No. 2) by Louis Vierne; Scott Reese, oboe

WELCOME AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL TO WORSHIP

HYMN:  Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above [Mit Freuden Zart]

PRAYER

INTROIT:  In All These You Welcomed Me by William Bradley Roberts; Mark Waters, tenor solo; Scott Reese, oboe

Traveler’s child laid in a manger, refugee to Egypt bound, pilgrim youth, yet not a stranger, when your Father’s house you found:  Christ, who set aside your glory to reclaim our wayward race, help us read salvation’s story in each passing heart and face.  Guest who vintage wine from water, wandering healer brimmed with balm, foreigner whose hearer brought her heart-thirst to your well of calm:  Savior, may we see our neighbor as an emblem of your care; in our leisure and our labor give us grace to find you there.  Homeless squatter in a garden, feaster in a rented room, scapegoat for another’s pardon, sleeper in a borrowed tomb:  Jesus, outcast and offender to those certain of God’s will, rend the veils of race and gender, wealth and health, that shroud us still.  Strange wayfarer to Emmaus, vague from on the distant shore, fright to friends (“Does sense betray us?”) when you stood with them once more:  risen Lord, be there to meet us when life dawns eternally; may your promised blessing greet us, “In all these you welcomed me.”  [Carl P. Daw, Jr.]

PRAYER

SCRIPTURE LESSON: Matthew 25:31-46

ANTHEM:  I Lift My lamp (With God’s Love) by Gwyneth Walker

When I was hungry, did you feed me?  When I was shivering, did you bring me clothes?  When I was thirsty, did you bring me water?  When I was homeless, did you give a home?  When I was fearful, did you give protection?  When I was injured, did you offer care?  When I was threatened, did you stand for justice?  And when imprisoned, keep a vigil there?  O my sisters!  O my brothers!  If you do this for the least of these, you do this for me…with God in your heart….Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these the homeless, the homeless tempest-tossed to me.  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!  O my sisters, with God in your heart.  [Matthew 25:35-40 and “Mother of Exiles” by Emma Lazarus, adapted]

SERMON:  “Jesus Presence in His Absence”

HYMN:  Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples [Kingsfold]

PRAYER

HYMN:  When the Lord Redeems the Very Least [I’ll Fly Away]

BENEDICTION

BENEDICTION RESPONSE:  Thy Kingdom Come by Wallace Heaton

Thy Kingdom come, O God, Thy rule, O Christ, begin; break with Thy mighty arm the tyrannies of sin. Bring forth Thy reign of peace, of purity and love, and make all hatred cease, as in the realms above. Bring forth the promised time that war shall be no more, when nation’s greed and crime shall flee Thy face before. We pray Thee, Lord, arise, and come in Thy great might. Revive our longing eyes which languish for Thy sight. Over heathen lands afar thick darkness broodeth yet: arise, O morning star, arise and never set. [Lewis Hensley]

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This link will take you to Covenant’s 2021 Pledge Commitment form: https://forms.gle/nhakx1ytvKLLUL7JA
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We give thanks to Diane Donaldson for the floral arrangements today.

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