Third Sunday in Lent
March 7, 2021

First Presbyterian Church, Fargo
The Session and members of First Presbyterian Church, extend a sincere welcome to you! We welcome all persons regardless of race, nationality, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. This includes an open invitation to membership, the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, marriage, funerals, memorial services, and to serve as an officer of the church.

Prelude and Preparation for Worship

Prayer of the Day
Gracious God, whose power is made perfect in weakness, whose wisdom appears as foolishness in this world, we thank you for the scandal of the cross.
In Jesus Christ, you overturn all our usual ways of behaving and believing. You scatter our false notions of discipleship as easily as coins are spilled from a box. You correct our notions of piety and order with fierce passion. Do not let your church become content or contained as an institution. Raze to ruins what is distorted in us, and raise us to new life as a community so that we may be the body of Christ in and for the world. With fear and joy we ask this in Christ’s name. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
the sky is proclaiming God’s handiwork.
One day gushes the news to the next,
and one night informs another what needs to be known.
There is no speech; there are no words;
their voices cannot be heard by us.
Yet their sound extends throughout the world;
their words reach the ends of the earth!
Let us worship God!
Hymn — Christ is Made the Sure Foundation 
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Pam Burns, Jack Lawrence, Erynn Millard, Dillon Swanson
Accompanist: Sally Harmon
1 Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the head and cornerstone,
chosen of the Lord and precious,
binding all the church in one;
holy Zion's help forever,
and our confidence alone.

2 To this temple, where we call you,
come, O Lord of hosts, and stay;
come, with all your loving-kindness;
hear your people as we pray,
and your fullest benediction
shed within these walls today.

3 Here bestow on all your servants
what they seek from you to gain;
what they gain from you, forever
with the blessed to retain;
and hereafter in your glory
evermore with you to reign.

4 Laud and honor to the Father,
laud and honor to the Son,
laud and honor to the Spirit,
ever three and ever one:
one in might and one in glory
while unending ages run!
Call to Confession
Despite all that God has taught us, we still act foolishly;
we are still weak. In the cross of Christ, we find forgiveness and grace. We confess our sins, trusting in God’s wisdom and strength rather than our own.

Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, how fickle we are; we sin against you without even knowing it. Clear us, we pray, of any unknown sin, and save us from willfully ignoring your way. Let your commandments rule and guide us. Forgive us for worshiping anyone or anything except you; keep us faithful. Forgive us for failing to honor all our relationships—with those closest to us and those who are distant neighbors. Help us to speak words of blessing and kindness, rather than words that belittle or destroy. Turn us away from violence, falsehood, and selfishness. Forgive us for thinking everything depends on our efforts and power, for you are the God who made us, led us out slavery, and has brought us into the community of faith. Help us to depend on you alone and to rest in your peace. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Forgiveness

Hearing God’s Word

Children's Message
Prayer for Illumination
Scripture Read by Jane Roggensack
Lesson  Exodus 20:1-17
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Lesson  John 2:13-22
The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, ‘Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a market-place!’ His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ The Jews then said to him, ‘What sign can you show us for doing this?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews then said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?’ But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Sermon                In Three Days, I Will Raise It Up
Hymn — Where Charity and Love Prevail
1 Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love we thus are bound.

2 Let us recall that in our midst
dwells Christ, God’s holy Son.
As members of each body joined,
in him we are made one.

3 Let strife among us be unknown;
let all contentions cease.
Be God’s the glory that we seek;
be his our only peace.

4 Let us forgive each other’s faults
as we our own confess,
that we may love each other well
in Christian gentleness.

5 Love can exclude no race or creed
if honored be God’s name;
our common life embraces all
whose Maker is the same.

Responding to God’s Word

Affirmation of Faith Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come 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.

Prayers of the People and 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

Call for the Offering, ending with the Prayer of Dedication

Bearing the Word into the World

Hymn — Lift High the Cross
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his sacred name.

1 Come, Christians, follow where our Savior trod,
the Lamb victorious, Christ, the Son of God. (Refrain)

2 All newborn servants of the Crucified
bear on their brow the seal of Christ who died. (Refrain)

3 O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
your death has brought us life eternally. (Refrain)

4 So shall our song of triumph ever be:
praise to the Crucified for victory. (Refrain)

Charge and Benediction
Join us for Zoom Coffee Hour on Sunday at 11:30 am! Click here for the information.