THE SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY

Confirmation Sunday
Fourth Sunday of Easter
April 25, 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
We are your people, O God— the sheep of your pasture, the flock you have gathered. Lead us beside still waters; teach us the way of righteousness; and feed us at your table; through Jesus Christ, our good shepherd. Amen.

Gathering in Christ’s Presence

Welcome and Concerns of the Church
Opening Sentences 
The Lord Jesus Christ is our shepherd.
He lays down his life for his sheep.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our shepherd.
He knows us, and we belong to him.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our shepherd.
He speaks, and we listen for his voice.
Let us worship God!
Hymn — O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Singers: Penny Andrist, Kayla Bones, Mike Burns, Pam Burns, Erynn Millard, Jack Lawrence, and Jill Post
Accompanist: Sally Harmon
1 O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of God’s grace!
 
2 The name of Jesus charms our fears,
And bids our sorrows cease,
sings music in the sinner’s ears,
Brings life, and health, and peace.
 
3 Christ speaks, and listening to his voice
New life the dead receive;
The mournful waken to rejoice;
The poor in heart believe.
 
4 My gracious Master and my God, 
assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth
abroad the honors of thy name.
 
5 To God all glory, praise, and love
Be now and ever given
By saints below and saints above,
The church in earth and heaven.
Call to Confession
If we are honest with ourselves, our hearts condemn us.
But God, who knows everything, is greater than our hearts; and God’s deep desire for us is mercy, love, and peace. Therefore let us confess our sin.

Prayer of Confession
Lord, have mercy on us. We talk about love, but our actions betray us. We talk about love, but we neglect the poor. We talk about love, but we fail to love one another. Lord, have mercy on us. Forgive us, and abide in us by the power of your Spirit so that our lives may show our love for Jesus Christ, in whose body we live and in whose name we pray. Amen.


Assurance of God’s Forgiveness


Gift of Music
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace.
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
you lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your name.
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

Though I should wander the valley of death,
I fear no evil, for you are at my side, your rod and your staff,
my comfort and my hope.
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

You have set me a banquet of love in the face of hatred,
crowning me with love beyond my power to hold.
Shepherd me, O God,
beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life.

Surely your kindness and mercy follow me all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of my God for evermore.

Hearing God’s Word

Children's Message
Prayer for Illumination
Lesson John 10:11-18
‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’

Lesson 1 John 3:16-21
We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God.

Sermon                Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action
Hymn — Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us
1 Savior, like a shepherd lead us;
much we need your tender care.
In your pleasant pastures feed us;
for our use your fold prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us: we are yours.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have bought us: we are yours.
 
2 We are yours: in love befriend us;
be the guardian of our way.
Keep your flock: from sin defend us;
seek us when we go astray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
hear your children when we pray.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
hear your children when we pray.
 
3 You have promised to receive us,
poor and sinful though we be;
you have mercy to relieve us,
grace to cleanse, and power to free.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
early let us turn to you.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
early let us turn to you.
 
4 Early let us seek your favor;
early let us do your will.
Blessed Lord and only Savior,
with your love our spirits fill.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have loved us; love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
you have loved us; love us still.

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.


Confirmation
     
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 — I, The Lord of Sea and Sky
1 I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin
my hand will save.
I, who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Refrain:
Here I am, Lord.
Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

2 I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people's pain.
I have wept for love of them.
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?
(Refrain)

3 I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them.
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide
till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?
(Refrain)

Charge and Benediction
Postlude
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