Lent 2C  

 

Mar. 17

 

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Scripture  (from the Revised Common Lectionary, with links provided by TextWeek.com – a source for thoughtful worship and preaching throughout the year):

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17 – 4:1
Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-36

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

618 How firm a foundation

24 The God of Abraham Praise

608 I would be true

611 Rise up, O saints of God

542 Jesus, Lover of My Soul

540 O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

404 A Hymn of Joy We Sing

 

More hymn suggestions, as well as helpful references for use of the arts in worship, are available from the United Church of Christ website.   

 

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18

 

Against all probability

you promise life and more.

O God, in our reluctance rouse

all satiety of hope!

 

Indeed, where only fallow times

entice our common view,

you tease imagination more

that by our faith we rise.

 

Into the weariness of days

we wade and wail and try.

in this deliverance by grace

you sear our offering.

 

In awe we wait upon your touch,

we seek the answer, love.

Within your majesty set free,

we rise to trust your touch.

 

CM          Suggested tune: Solomon

 

Dealing with the Psalm of the Day:

Since Chalice Hymnal does not provide a complete Psalter, there will be occasions when suggestions may be made for alternate Psalm use (or hymn equivalent).  A metrical version of the Psalter, for those Psalms not provided in Chalice Hymnal, is being prepared by Rev. David Chafin.  Where practical, these may be offered here as well.  You may also want to visit http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week:  Psalm 27 is on page 736

 

Concerning the Following Items: Except where otherwise noted, items are created or adapted by the editor.  If you are aware of source notations which are missing, please bring them to his attention.  No copyright infringement is intended, but is sure to happen.

 

Call to Worship   

L: When confidence in our way of life is shaken, to whom do we turn for comfort?

P: We look to friends, we cling to loved ones, we grope for answers in familiar, sacred places.

L: How shall we find strength to recover? Where do we find heart and hope to go on?

P: Our hope is in God alone, our Savior, the Shepherd of our Souls, our sheltering Fortress.

 

OR

L:  Once again, in this season of Lent, we are summoned by a gracious and merciful God.

P:  We respond to God’s steadfast love, calling us into solemn assembly.

L: Let all the people gather for self‑examination; let all bow in awe before the One Who Creates.

P:  We approach God in reverence and wonder, rejoicing in the invitation to holy places.

L:  Walk humbly before God in secret disciplines, in prayer and fasting and giving.

P:  We seek the One who grants us life, upholding us with a willing spirit.

 

Alternate Opening Rite (in place of a Call to Worship and Prayer of Approach)

Invitation to Confession

L: My sisters and brothers, as we prepare to encounter God anew today in the gathering of this community, in the hearing of the Word, and in the Breaking of Bread, it is good that we should call to mind our sins, and seek God’s promised forgiveness together.

Silent Prayer 

Responsive Prayer

L: For the poverty of our worship, our unbelief and hesitating witness, our blindness to what you would have us to be and to do, Lord, have mercy.

P: Lord, have mercy.

L: For imagining ourselves to be the center of the world, and for seeking security in the works of our own hands and minds, Christ, have mercy.

P: Christ, have mercy.

L: For the waste of your gifts, and for letting so little of your love pass through us to others by relieving the sufferings and injustices that they endure, Lord, have mercy.

P: Lord, have mercy.

Words of Forgiveness

L: God has promised forgiveness of sins to those who repent and turn in faith.  May God keep us in grace by the Holy Spirit, lead us to greater faith and trust, and bring us in peace to eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Most Holy God, we await the touch of your Spirit with eagerness. We ask that you enter the lives of each one of us today, refreshing and renewing and healing us with the power of your love, so that we may live with purpose, enthusiasm and courage after the example of Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Creator God, in this time of repentance, we call out for your mercy.  Turn us back to you and to the new life Christ restored by his perfect obedience, even to death on a cross.  For he lives and reigns as our Redeemer with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever; (and in his spirit we are bold to pray as he taught us, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Most Holy God, we await the touch of your Spirit with eagerness. We ask that you enter the lives of each one of us today, refreshing and renewing and healing us with the power of your love, so that we may live with purpose, enthusiasm and courage after the example of Jesus our Lord, in whose name we pray (as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Confession of Sin

(Unison) Almighty and Ever-Living God, you hate nothing you have created, and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(silent prayer)

(Minister: The God whom we know in Jesus Christ is a God of mercy and love. When we are disillusioned with others and ourselves, God still accepts us as we are and moves toward us with forgiveness and comfort. We are freed by God’s love to live in the freshness of each new day, to reach out to one another in love. For these great gifts, let us give thanks to God.)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Loving God, through Jesus Christ you bring light and life to a dark and dying world.  We give you thanks and praise for your love which he reveals to us, even today, and for the hope which his life and death and resurrection unfolds for our world.  Even as you love the world so greatly and sacrificially in Jesus, help us in his spirit to live and to love your world today, especially as we lift to you the lonely, the hurting, the sick and the dying.

 

Where there is injustice, renew our mission to do your will and bring about reconciliation, healing and peace.  Where there is pain, make us agents of your regenerative power and your healing caress.  May we discover and shed abroad your great love among those we encounter who are alone, or grieving or lost.  Make us, as your church, your hands and feet and voice in this world, especially as we pray for those whose lives are closely linked with our own and for the needs we bring with us this day which we offer to you in silence.  (Silent prayer)

 

As we celebrate your presence with us this day and commit ourselves to you afresh within the covenant of your love, help us to be a willing church—ready to do whatever the day demands, in order to bring the joy of your resurrection to those of our world who have no cause to celebrate.  In this Lenten season, awaken us, empower us, renew us, to be faithful to you in the Spirit of Christ.

 

OR

Almighty God, maker of all, with joy we give thanks for all your goodness. We praise you for the love which has created and sustained us to this day, and for the gift of your Christ who brings us into covenant with you and with all your people of faith. Help us to treasure your gifts and to show our thankfulness by lives wholly given to your service.

 

We pray for your church whom you have redeemed by the sacrifice of Jesus. Give it pastors and ministers filled with your spirit, and strength to serve by the guidance of your word. Perfect it in love and in compassion, and establish it in the faith of your saints. Unite all your people that one holy church may bear witness to you and your glory.

 

We pray that you would move our nation toward the justice of your peace. Bless our national, state and local leaders to serve all people with integrity. Purge from us all hatred and prejudice, and build within us your love, that even in our dealings with the other nations of earth we may be servants of peace, truth and justice.

 

Bless our homes with the joy of your presence. Strengthen our covenants of family and of faith, that our children may grow into fullness of faith, that together we may show forth your praise in our world through deeds and words of love and compassion—especially with those who are alone and lonely.

Let your grace be seen in seed-time and harvest, in labor and business, in leisure and rest, in arts and culture of our people. May all who do work find fulfillment of their vocations, and all who are in need of work find the relief of new endeavors.

 

Comfort those who sorrow and are in need, sickness or adversity. Have mercy on those to whom death draws near. Bring consolation to those in mourning, and to all give your peace, for these and all our prayers we bring to you in the name of Jesus our Christ. Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,

that they may return to the way of righteousness:

grant to all those who are admitted

into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,

that they may reject those things

that are contrary to their profession,

and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Almighty God,

you see that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves:

keep us both outwardly in our bodies,

and inwardly in our souls;

that we may be defended from all adversities

which may happen to the body,

and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Additional Collect

 

Almighty God,

by the prayer and discipline of Lent

may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,

and by following in his Way

come to share in his glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious

to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them

again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and

hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ

your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2019, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Luke 13:31-35

 

Against the hour of discontent,

against the throes of lean laments,

against the shaken evidence, O God,

we find ourselves invited near

to stay the cause of dissonance

and undertake the clarity

of your decisive care.

 

Service of Table  

While all of our congregations navigate the Sacred Board in a different way, it seems, there are common elements in most, which are provided here.  We would love to hear if your congregation has variations to these elements which we might address in the future. 

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

Just as Christ has taught the way of life to us, the church, we have the responsibility of bringing life to the world around us through our ministries and the outreach of missions through our connections of faith around the globe. Let us offer gratefully and sacrificially to the work of God who has given all for us.

 

OR

All of life is opened for us in the coming of Christ into our world. Every good gift of God is ours to use for the holy purposes of Christ in our world today. Let us give generously of the resources which God has entrusted to us.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, we thank you for your great generosity. All that we are and all that we have is a gift from you. Help us to serve one another and so reflect your spirit and goodness. Accept these offerings and grant that the cause to which they are devoted may prosper under your guidance.

 

Invitation to the Table

God wants to share this meal with you—all of you who dare to let go of your defenses and your trust in self or others, and trust in God. Let us come to God’s table with hearts of thanksgiving and trust fully in the Christ who invites us all.

 

OR

Christ himself has gathered us, longing to share with us bread and wine at his table.  May these be moments which open our eyes to the mystery of God’s presence with us in the days and nights of our living.  May we be nourished by the gifts set before us so abundantly, and refreshed to live with joy and anticipation of Christ’s coming reign in our world.

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving (Prayers for Bread and Cup)

(The following may be offered as one prayer, or broken between two Elders, if that is the tradition to be followed)

 

We praise you, Lord, for sending your only Son Jesus to live among us, to make you known to all who receive him. Sharing our joy and sorrow, he healed the sick, befriended sinners, and showed us the way to fulfillment in partnership with others. He sent his disciples forth with courage to extend your promise of friendship and love, and still he calls us to work in your spirit of love. Even having taken up his cross and dying that we might live, he overcame death and is risen in power. He is still the friend of sinners. We trust him to overcome every power that can hurt or divide us, and believe that when he comes again in glory, we will celebrate victory with him throughout eternity at his heavenly table. Pour out your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts, that this bread and cup may be for us the body and blood of Christ, and that we, and all who share this feast, may be one with Christ and he with us.

 

OR

  1. O Universal Love, we offer thanks and praise to you, even in the midst of darkness, for the light and hope of life eternal offered to us in Jesus Christ our Lord.  As we receive the gift of this broken bread, his Body offered for us and for all the world, may our hearts be open to the fullness of your salvation made known to us through his sacrifice for the sake of the world.

 

  1. Send down your Spirit, O God of Life, upon this cup, the new and eternal covenant of Christ’s blood, offered for the salvation of the world.  May we who receive it be blessed with a new awakening to the life eternal, which is ours through your gift of selfless love made known in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Conclusion:  Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

If not previously offered: “And now with the confidence of your children, we offer the prayer our Savior taught us, ‘Our Father…’

 

MORE…

Resources from the Jubilee Fund: This stewardship ministry serving the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers weekly emails for each Sunday’s service.  Visit http://www.thejubileefund.com/ to learn more.

Rev. Tim Graves offers Liturgy Bits with valuable, culturally sensitive and creatively contemplative works, well worth your time.

You may also want to visit Worship Connection at MinistryMatters.com, which offers numerous helps, including electronic versions of print resources for worship and preaching planning.

Intercessions and other helpful planning materials geared to the Lectionary (using Roman Catholic version, but normally quite useful for all traditions) for preaching and worship are supplied for several weeks in advance at The Sunday Website of St. Louis University. 

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018.  Calendar for 2019

Sun 2 Dec 2018. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2018-19. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2018. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2018 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2018 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2018.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

NOTE:  We hope you return to this posting often (and are subscribed to the feed by email, on Facebook or your favorite reader), since the content of each week’s posting may change several times before Sunday.  We’d also like to include your content, even after the fact, since everything will roll around again in 3 years, and your contributions may find new life in the great cycle of the lectionary.  Send your comments or content here.

 

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