From the Pastor:      “Insight”   March 19, 2023


March 19, 2023

Fourth Sunday in Lent

Women’s History Month




Invocation: Good morning and welcome!

Visionary creator, give us your vision.  Show us our hearts, our homes, our communities, and our world through your eyes. Wash away our blind spots, and help us to see where we do not see. Allow us to see creation as you see it now, and as you envision it to become. Help us to realize your vision, and walk the road of life-the way and path of Jesus. Amen


Call to Worship

L: Welcome pilgrims on the way to the cross.
P: We are learning to follow Jesus.

L: On this Lenten journey, where do we find God’s presence among us?
P: One thing we know: God calls us to witness extraordinary love in ordinary moments.

L: On this Lenten journey, how does God’s presence work among us?
P: One thing we know: God uses the messy and mundane to heal and restore us to one another.

L: On this Lenten journey, what does God’s presence do in our midst?
P: One thing we know: God opens us to recognize presence, sustenance, and abundance where the world perceives isolation and lack.

L: Pilgrims on the way, come let us worship God!
P: We come to worship God as we learn to live inside out! Amen.


Words of Welcome and Parish News:


*Gathering song

Silent meditation and prayer:                                                           Prayer Focus: Innervisions


The Lord’s Prayer

 Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.


Scripture Readings:                                                                                                       


Psalm 23

1The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; 3he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. 5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.


John 9:1-16

9As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. 4We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, 7saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. 8The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” 12They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” 13They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided.




The Message                                                  “Insight”                     Rev. Marshall Murphy Jr.

Have you ever read something or been in a conversation and felt some light has been shed on the subject? You might even say: “I get it,” as if a light has gone off. However, we see so much pain, grief, and hurt worldwide. People have many situations and conditions that affect their lives. Celebrating Women’s History Month, we look at the life of Heller Keller. Remember her story through the challenges of her teacher Anne Sullivan, a miracle worker. Anne Sullivan had the challenge of teaching this child and her family, who had the sight to see Helen Keller in another light. There is brilliance in the author’s writing of this Gospel, John.

On the one hand, the passage speaks about a man who was blind from birth. The disciples ask: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus uses ordinary mud, spits on it, and tells the man to go and wash it off. On the other hand, the Pharisees were concerned that this healing was done on the Sabbath. What stands out in this passage is a blind man from birth, the disciples thinking about what they have been told about someone blind from birth, and the Pharisees concerned about this healing on the Sabbath. Where are the priorities for the children of God today? God goes beyond our outer appearance and looks down into the depths and every corridor and fiber of our being. There is nothing we can hide from God. We may try to hide things from people, but never God.

I have always been so inspired by how Stevie Wonder has been able to write songs that reach into various aspects of life from war, romance, and love. His 1976 double album titled “Songs In The Key Of Life,” which went platinum covered a range of topics “Isn’t She Lovely”, “Love’s In Need Of Love Today”, and “Have a Talk With God”.

There is a marvelous insight that comes from Jesus to all of us in verse 5: 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” We must follow this Light in all that we say and do! This is a hard task but during this season of Lent affords the opportunity to see the Light of the world in a deeper way. Sometimes we have experiences that appear to enter our lives from nowhere to give us insight not only on things in the world but also insight on who we are in the world. Jesus is our friend and is always there to guide us! Amen.


Offertory Invitation

Generous God, you tenderly care for each person you have created. You miraculously restore people to health and shine light into the lives of those who are discouraged. Guide us so that we will not regard others according to outward appearances but seek to find your love in their hearts.

Offertory Music


*Doxology:                                                                                                                     UMH 95

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below; praise him above, ye heavenly host; praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.


*Unison Prayer of Dedication:

We dedicate our offerings and ourselves to contribute to the work of your kingdom on earth until Christ returns in glory. Amen. 


*Closing Music:


Sending Forth

As you leave this time of worship, may God’s presence follow you, heal you, and empower you to witness and to witness to the goodness and love of God everywhere you go. Amen.


Recessional (Please remain seated to meditate and reflect on the music) 



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