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Lent 4A

Lent 4

 

Mar. 26

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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 for more study resources:

1 Samuel 16:1-13  Psalm 23  Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

53-Morning has broken

503-O Christ the Healer (alt tune suggestions: #665-Germany; #526-Gift of Love)

586-Open my eyes that I may see

405-Beneath the forms of outward rite

622-Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

On John 9:1-41

 

Distressing every wish to know

comes Jesus to behold,

to witness how affliction bears

the signs of God’s release.

He could not see, that man born blind,

until he passed the time

with Jesus offering the sight

borne in his gentle hands.

 

So hard it is to witness thus,

to know the blind man sees

when all the evidence of law,

propriety and sense

demands that those who know to see

must understand the rules:

this witness of the man born blind

who sees what we can’t see.

 

O Lord, in this encapsuled day

as insight ranges true

become in us the witness shown,

that follows in the way.

It is the way that we attend,

the way that Jesus goes;

and in this wonderful delight

we follow as your own.

 

DCM            Suggested tune: Ladywell

 

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 23 is on page 734

 

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: We celebrate the God of infinite power and love, who has called us into community.

P: We gather with God’s people of every age and place who have, by faith, found their true citizenship in heaven.

L: We journey together with hope, knowing that God who has fulfilled every promise in the coming of Jesus Christ will fulfill the promises of kingdom life for us and for all God’s children.

P: Thanks be to God for the faith that makes our life in Christ complete and promises life everlasting to all who believe.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God of all glory, on this first day you began creation, bringing light out of darkness.  On this first day you began your new creation raising Jesus Christ out of the darkness of death.  On this Lord’s day grant that we, the people you create by water and the spirit, may be joined with all your works in praising you for your great glory.  Through Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, we praise you now and forever.  (praying as he taught us, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Center us now, O God, on your presence in this place among your people, as we lift up our hearts desires, our soul’s deep needs, our hungers, fears and failures.

 

As we have often failed to be obedient to your will in our lives as individual disciples and as church, we pray that you will forgive us and enliven us to be and to do the gospel of Christ.  Open us to your Spirit’s urgings, and awaken us to live faithfully as your people in a changing, often hurting world.

 

We pray for those around us who need your care, and ask that you would make of us your instruments of healing, peace and redemption.  We pray especially for those we have named to you this day, and others we lift to you in the silence of our hearts.

 

Reveal your presence with them and with us, God of life, that as people of renewed faith and vitality, we may be empowered to serve your world, and so give glory to you; for we offer our prayers and our lives in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.

 

OR

Loving God, you taught your disciples love for one another—love which would manifest itself in selflessness and servanthood. Hear the prayer of your people for our world and all who dwell in it.

 

We lift to you the nations, that they may be rebuilt in justice and in peace, and especially this nation and its leaders. Hear our prayers for the nations.

 

We lift to you this earth, which you so lovingly created, that as stewards of your gifts we might thankfully use its resources for the good of all. Hear our prayers for your creation.

 

We pray for this city and for cities and villages around us, that all might work together to strengthen and improve the lives of their citizens. Hear our prayers for the cities.

 

We pray for your church—both here in this faith community and around the world—that this season of Lent might be a time of renewal in faith and mission on your behalf, and that together we may learn the path of servanthood toward all humanity. Hear our prayer for your church.

 

We pray for ourselves and our own needs, and the needs of those around us, whose lives are closely linked with our own…   To those who are sick and sorrowful, bring your healing and hope. To the grieving, bring your peace. And to the dying bring the joy of your promise to us of eternity with you. For these and all our prayers we offer you, trusting in your goodness and your strength, in the name and spirit of Jesus the Christ.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect Merciful Lord, absolve your people from their offences, that through your bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the chains of those sins which by our frailty we have committed; grant this, heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Lord God, whose blessed Son our Saviour gave his back to the smiters and did not hide his face from shame: give us grace to endure the sufferings of this present time with sure confidence in the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Merciful Lord, you know our struggle to serve you: when sin spoils our lives and overshadows our hearts, come to our aid

and turn us back to you again; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down

from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world:

Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in

him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one

God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

John 9:1-11

 

In all our blindness, Lord God, grant us sight;

let spittle land in clay: anoint our eyes

and bid us bathe them clear.

Where we are all so blind,

pretending that we see,

refresh us that we truly see

the boundless beauty of your gift

of Spirit, life, delight in you.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

Each of us it to look not only to personal interests but also to the interests of others. We come together as the church of Jesus Christ to do this. We are devoted to a mission whose benefits are not for us alone. This is our opportunity to share in important work in this community and around the world.

 

Offertory Prayer

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.

 

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.

 

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)

O God, you have sent your only Son into the world not to condemn, but to bring life in abundance. As we hear his call to gather at the Table today, and receive from his hands the bread blessed and broken, and drink together from the cup which he has blessed, send forth your Holy Spirit upon us, and upon these gifts, that in receiving we may experience anew that abundance, and give of it freely through lives lived faithfully in his presence.

 

OR

  1. O God, you bring light out of darkness and hope where none can be found.  As we give you thanks for this bread, the light of hope expressed most completely in your Son Jesus Christ, we pray that you will give us grace to know him more fully, and in knowing him, more closely follow him as people of faith.

 

  1. Pour out your Spirit, we pray upon (this bread and) this cup, that we who partake of the gifts which you give may be awakened to live fully in your presence, as we look forward to the feast you have prepared for all who love you, in your kingdom which has no end.

 

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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Lent 3A

Lent 3A

 

Mar. 19

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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 for each individual pericope:

Exodus 17:1-7 Psalm 95 Romans 5:1-11 John 4:5-42

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

5-O for a thousand tongues

595-Be thou my vision

351-Fill my cup, Lord

393-One Bread, one Body

464-God of grace and God of glory

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Romans 5:1-11

 

Announced and done before the day,

the time of our becoming one,

while we were yet immersed in sin

just then our Savior died for us.

 

Arrayed in such untimely ways,

while readiness is all undone,

while helplessness was our resort,

Christ entertained with poignant love.

 

While all is made anew for us,

without a reason or a care,

become we now the font of joy

as God has deemed us pure delight.

 

LM         Suggested tune: Agincourt

 

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 95 in part is on p. 747

 

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: The God of all creation makes us one in the flesh.

P:  Let us join hearts and voices in praise.

L: In Jesus Christ, we are made one in the Spirit.

P:  Let us be united in truth through the same one Spirit.

L: We practice our faith in many different ways.

P:  Yet we confess one Lord Jesus Christ.

L: We render different forms of ministry.

P:  Yet our calling is one because Christ is undivided.

L: Rejoice, people of God:  Christ is among us, calling us together at his one Table.

P:  Praise the Lord!  

 

OR

L: When all seems lost, Lord, and we are afraid to begin again,

P: Forgive us, we pray, and inspire our hearts with hope.

L: When all our problems seem insurmountable,

P: Give us courage to carry on our daily living in faith.

L: When we think only of self and seek only our own good, without concern for others,

P: Help us to see that our strength is in our unity, and that only in working together in your name can we hope to see your reign of peace among us.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

O God all powerful, true and incomparable, present in all things, yet limited by none, untouched by place, unaged by time, unhurried by the years, undeceived by words, not subject to birth, nor in need of protection; you are above all change, you are by nature immutable, living in light that none can approach, invisible, yet you make yourself known to me and you are found by all who seek you with their whole heart; you are the God of Israel and of all who hope in Christ.  You are our God and we adore you.   (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

God whose very nature is wholeness and life, we give you thanks that in this holy assembly today you have called together people from different places, of many gifts, and with a multitude of ways of serving and loving. Make us one, Lord, even as you and your Christ are one, as we hear his clarion call to gather in the one body to feast on the word and receive from your hand the blessed gifts of bread and cup. Make us ready, Lord – ready to listen, ready to hear, ready to go and do your will, so that we all may be one, so that the world may know you in and among us. This we pray in the strong name of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

God who has promised living water to all who will ask has called us to draw near and make our needs, our hopes, our desires known, that we might be transformed, and that our truest desires might be to live in closer communion with Christ and his people.  Let us pray.

 

Loving God, you are our hope.  We have often lived as though you were so distant, so uninvolved with us, and so aloof.  Yet in Christ you have shown us just how near to us you are—walking by our sides, risking all to be near to us—so much that you would come to be our servant, our Savior and our friend.

 

Hear our prayers for those for whom we should take such risks, as we lift to you the yearnings of our hearts for your creation and its peoples.  Help us as stewards of your many gifts to care more diligently for the brokenness of your world.  May our lives honor you by caring for the earth and all of your creatures.  May we be renewed and reconciled to live in peace with all people.

 

Many and great are the needs of those around us, Lord.  Help us to better remember the poor, the homeless, the needy of our world, by serving those of them that live nearby—those we might too easily pass by on the streets.  Teach us the meaning of prayer for the lost, the lonely and the grieving through the consolation of our encounters with them in everyday life.  Empower us to heal the hurting, the sick and the dying by the touch and the love of Jesus who lives in us, his body. We especially lift to you those dear to us (____) along with our own needs in silence.

 

Raise up your people again to lives of deeper prayer through more ready service, that we in this community of faith might be joined with Christ in his suffering and in his resurrection, for it is in his name and by his faith that we lift our prayers to you.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Post Communion Merciful Lord, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations    of the world, the flesh and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Eternal God, give us insight to discern your will for us, to give up what harms us, and to seek the perfection we are promised in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Collect of the Day (from Book of Common Prayer, 1979**)

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in 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, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

John 4:5-42

 

Teach us, O God, your gift;

expose us to the face that speaks of freshness.

For, in this interface of unsuspected joy,

you entertain our hearts afresh

and linger luringly before our eyes.

Create in this confusion, Lord,

the readiness to find enforced

the worship in Spirit and in Truth,

our offering of love and life to you.

 

Service of Table  

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

Through our offerings we identify with the cause of Christ. We proclaim our concern for all people, and we name them all as our next of kin. We identify with their suffering and grief and we rejoice when good comes to them. God gives both our material resources and our personal time and effort to us. Let us now extend them through the body of Christ into this moment of history and into the whole world.

 

Offertory Prayer

In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.

 

OR

Holy one, your heart abounds with gifts. Receive this offering as a sign of our trust in you and our intention to live surrounded by your mercy, inspired by your Spirit, open to the joy of your presence, hospitable to one another, and generous toward your world. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit at the table in the kingdom of God. This is the Lord’s table. Jesus invites all who seek to trust him to share in the feast which he has prepared. Let us come to his table now with hope and confidence as God’s children.

 

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)

Holy and Loving God, you speak to us in silence, yet all languages interpret you.  Because you call us into this community, we are able to become a gift to one another.  We pray for your Holy Spirit to descend upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that in sharing them we may discern your presence which becomes our life.  We thank you for your anointed one, Jesus, who through his life, crucifixion, death and resurrection lived fully the promise of redemptive wholeness that is available to all who would obey your creating will.  We celebrate his gifts, we rejoice in your presence, loving God, now and always.

OR

O God, your vision for your people has been revealed to us in Jesus Christ – a vision of unity, of mutual care, and of peace. As we gather at Christ’s table this day, send forth the power of your Holy Spirit upon us who gather here in love for you. As we break the bread and drink from the cup, may we be made one with Christ, one with each other, and one in fellowship with all your people, from all times and places, loving and serving you faithfully in the days ahead.

 

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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Lent 2A

Lent 2A

 

March 12

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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

 

Click on Scriptures below for more resources:

Genesis 12:1-4a

Psalm 121 Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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

284-Gather us in

16-Come, thou Fount of every blessing

249-Spirit

450-God the Spirit, Guide and Guardian

455-You have called me from my hiding place

346-I can hear my Savior calling

565-If you will trust in God to guide you

399-O God, unseen yet ever near

409-I hunger and I thirst

431-Go, my children, with my blessing

 

Hymn of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Watch site for posting at a later date.

On Genesis 12:1-4a

 

In the dawning of awareness,

in the first moment we observed:

then in true command beginning,

we are bid impending call.

‘Come’ is how the lord announces

how we are begun afresh.

‘Come’ is the echo now resounding,

leading our new steps afresh.

 

All retreating is escaping,

all denial is behind.

Now, we entertain the Master;

now we are engaged in truth.

How are we to rise and follow?

How are we to climb the stars?

Yes, it is the passage promised,

leaving all the rest behind.

 

Now arising, now beginning,

now aspiring to the Lord,

now inclining to God’s luring,

now discovering our grace:

thus, indeed, we follow ever

into places never guessed.

For in our confessing moment

all we are is offered God.

 

8.7.8.7.D       Suggested tune: Ebenezer

 

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 121 is on page 760.

 

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:  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.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

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…”)

 

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

God who has promised living water to all who will ask has called us to draw near and make our needs, our hopes, our desires known, that we might be transformed, and that our truest desires might be to live in closer communion with Christ and his people. Let us pray.

 

Loving God, you are our hope. We have often lived as though you were so distant, so uninvolved with us, and so aloof. Yet in Christ you have shown us just how near to us you are—walking by our sides, risking all to be near to us—so much that you would come to be our servant, our Savior and our friend.

 

Hear our prayers for those for whom we should take such risks, as we lift to you the yearnings of our hearts for your creation and its peoples. Help us as stewards of your many gifts to care more diligently for the brokenness of your world. May our lives honor you by caring for the earth and all of your creatures. May we be renewed and reconciled to live in peace with all people.

 

Many and great are the needs of those around us, Lord. Help us to better remember the poor, the homeless, the needy of our world, by serving those of them that live nearby—those we might too easily pass by on the streets. Teach us the meaning of prayer for the lost, the lonely and the grieving through the consolation of our encounters with them in everyday life. Empower us to heal the hurting, the sick and the dying by the touch and the love of Jesus who lives in us, his body.

 

We especially lift to you those dear to us (____) along with our own needs in silence.

 

Raise up your people again to lives of deeper prayer through more ready service, that we in this community of faith might be joined with Christ in his suffering and in his resurrection, for it is in his name and by his faith that we lift our prayers to you. 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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 3:1-17

 

Catch us afresh, O God, into the tide

your love abides.

For, in this call you lay before our eyes,

you bring us birth on your terms;

you lift the emblem of your flesh

that we be healed and called to life.

Bring us, O God, to savor evermore

your exquisite, delightful love;

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

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

All things come from you, O God, and in these gifts we return them in thanksgiving. Receive them, and receive us, as we offer ourselves anew to you in Christ’s name. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

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)

  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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Lent 1A

Lent 1A

 

Mar. 5

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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 resources:

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7 Psalm 32 Romans 5:12-19 Matthew 4:1-11

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

64-We sing your mighty power, O God

179-Forty days and forty nights

180-Lord, who throughout these forty days

211-Jesus walked this lonesome valley

565-If you will trust in God to guide you

391-These I lay down

427-Loving Lord, as now we gather

429 You Satisfy the Hungry Heart

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 4:1-11

 

Opening the chance of mercy,

finding in the moment hope:

here we open our beginning;

here we counter all our bliss.

For in our abrupt beginning

we encounter harsh relief,

entering the raucous desert

to be teased with haunting thoughts.

 

In the passage, tracking Jesus,

we endure the hour of care.

Glib the answer we are hearing,

blithe the brush aside of dare.

For in this confounding moment,

in the rush of all repair,

we are tending Jesus’ wisdom

to impel our hidden ways.

 

In the finish, in the anguish,

when the ruse of vision blurs,

then we stand beside our Jesus,

hear the word of Satan gone.

Now our focus faces ever

into hopes beyond despair,

that in this exalted passion

we begin in faithfulness.

 

8.7.8.7.D  Suggested tune: Hyfrydol

 

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 32 is on p. 739

 

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.

 

Opening Rite

(adapted by the editor from the Tradition)

L:  As we gather as a community of faith to experience anew the love and grace of Christ, and to feast at his table, let us call to mind our frailties, faults, and sins, and offer them to God, trusting in the grace of God alone for forgiveness and freedom.

     (Silent prayer)

L:  O Christ, you came to set the captives free; Lord, have mercy.

P:  Lord have mercy.

L:  You have given yourself fully to live among us; Christ, have mercy.

P:  Christ have mercy.

L:  When rejected, persecuted, and killed upon a cross, you were raised by God; Lord, have mercy.

P:  Lord have mercy.

L:  May almighty God have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and lead us toward the joy of life eternal.

P:  Amen.

 

Alternate Opening Rite

(in place of a Call to Worship and Prayer of Approach. Unison prayer below adapted by the editor from Prayers from the Book of Common Order, Church of Scotland, on oremus.org)

 Invitation to God’s Forgiveness

Minister: As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor.  Repentance, fasting, prayer, study, and works of love help us return to that love.  I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to love God and neighbor by confessing your sin and by asking God for strength to persevere in your Lenten discipline.

Silent Prayer  (Following a time of silence, Minister: Let us pray together.)

Unison Prayer of Confession

Father in heaven, your love brings life to dead souls, light to darkened minds, strength to weak wills. Help us to believe and trust that no wrong we have done, no good we have failed to do, is too great for you to pardon through the merits of Jesus Christ your Son.  

Words of Forgiveness

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

(These words may be followed by an “Amen,” by a declaration of absolution – although this is often omitted during Lent in many traditions –  and/or by the Peace)

 

Call to Worship  

L: Once again, as the season of Lent begins, we are summoned by a gracious and merciful God.

P: We respond to God’s steadfast love, calling us together in praise.

L: Let us 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.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

As we enter into this journey of Lent together, O God, we look to you to be our guide, our confidence, and our hope.  Enable us to find in a season of searching and listening the cause for our hope, and the confirmation of our baptism; this we pray through Christ our Lord.  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Most holy God, whose son began a ministry with disciples and continues that ministry today with responsive followers, make us quick to give of ourselves to be in mission as your church today, that the good news of Christ may bring wholeness in all parts of our world. This we pray in his name (as he taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…”)

 

Confession of Sin

L: As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor. Repentance, fasting, prayer, study, and works of love help us return to that love. I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to love God and neighbor by confessing your sin [and by asking God for strength to persevere in your Lenten discipline].

(silent prayer)

P: We confess, Lord, that we have sometimes fallen prey to the temptations our Lord rejected. Unlike the Savior who refused to turn stones into bread, we have misused our powers and positions for personal advantage. Unlike the Savior who refused to leap from the pinnacle of the temple, we have gotten ourselves into precarious situations, then expected God to miraculously save us. Unlike the Savior who refused to bow to Satan, we have compromised our standards in order to make financial gains. May we, like the Christ, recognize temptation for what it is, and reject its subtle attempt to control us.

L: Take courage in this: that by using the authority of the Word, as Jesus did, we can subdue the suggestions of Satan and gain the advantage over evil.

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

        Mighty and merciful God, giver of grace and goodness, we come as grateful children this day.  We come confessing that we are not always grateful to you or as gracious to others we encounter in the twists and turns of our lives.  We thank you that you have promised your forgiveness to us as we place our trust in you.  Hear our prayers that we might be forgiven, renewed and restored to a fuller life—the life you have shown us in Jesus the Christ.

 

And hear our prayers for the people you have called to be your church throughout the world.  May we together become what you would have us be in fulfillment of Christ’s mission.  Help us to lead the way in justice and peace, to help the poor, the sick, the hungry, the oppressed, and those in prison and other kinds of trouble.  Help us to serve those who surround us as we would serve Jesus.

 

We pray, O Lord, for those who seek you or who seek to draw closer to you, that they may find you and be found by you.  We pray for those near to us in their needs, as we have named them this day, and for those we name in our hearts, and for our own needs.

 

We praise you, O God, for you give us grace to glorify you with our whole lives, through the power and strength of Jesus the Christ.

 

OR

Lord of all that is silent and all that is spoken, because our lives are full of detail and deadlines, much to be done and little time in which to do it all, we find few moments in which to savor the beauty of the world, to contemplate the fierce endurance of everything that lives, to enter that timeless realm of divine mystery which surrounds us, entered only in silence. Yet we know that this place exists and is close to us. O God, grant us a glimpse of this inner sanctuary, and the desire and calm to dwell there in prayer.

 

As we begin this journey through Lent, help us to make more time for study, and more time for silence, that we may hear your voice in our lives. Open us to hear the words of Jesus in new ways, as they were new to those who first heard them. Challenge us and renew us in this holy season that we may be worthy to be called your children.

 

Hear our prayers for all who are ill and who suffer in these days, especially (___and) those we name to you in silence.  (silence)    Touch them with your peace and help us to be arms of compassion, strength and hope to them.  We ask your peace with all who mourn. May we all have comfort in knowing that indeed you have prepared a place for all who live as your children.

 

Build a road in the deserts of our hearts, O God—a road of worship and thanksgiving—and guide us in our journey of faith in this and every season of our lives, that we might be ever closer to you and to your Son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

OR: from Common Worship

In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father and ask for his mercy and grace.

For your holy people, that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace, we pray to you, O Lord: R

For candidates for baptism and confirmation, that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth, we pray to you, O Lord: R

For the leaders of the nations, that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth, we pray to you, O Lord: R

For the needy, that they may not be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away, we pray to you, O Lord: R

For the sick in body, mind and spirit, that they may know your power to heal, we pray to you, O Lord: R

For the poor in spirit, that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven and see you face to face, we pray to you, O Lord: R

Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered, to the mercy and protection of God.

Open prayer may be offered and silence is kept. The Collect and Lord’s Prayer follow.

 

A Litany (for use any time during Lent, adapted from several sources)

Let us remember Jesus:  Who, though he was rich, for our sakes became poor and dwelt among us;

Who was content to be the child of a poor family;

Who lived the common life, earning his living with his own hands and declining no humble tasks;

Whom the common people heard gladly, for he understood their ways.

Let us remember Jesus:  Who was mighty in deed, healing the sick and afflicted, using for others the powers he would not invoke for himself;

Who was master and Lord to his disciples,  yet was among them as their Companion and as one who served.

Let us remember Jesus:  Who loved people, yet retired from them to pray, rose a great while before day, watched through the night, stayed in the wilderness, went up into a mountain, sought out a garden;

Who prayed for his tempted disciple,  and for the forgiveness of all who rejected him, and for the perfecting of those who received him;

Who observed good customs, but defied conventions that did not serve the purposes of God.   Who hated sin because he knew the cost of pride and selfishness, of cruelty and impurity—the cost to humanity and to God.

May this mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus.

Let us remember Jesus:  Who, when he was reviled, did not retaliate, and when he suffered did not threaten; who emptied himself and carried obedience to the point of death, even death on the cross.

May this mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus.

Let us pray for Christ to dwell within our hearts.

O Christ, our only Savior, so come to dwell in us that we may go forth with the light of your hope  in our eyes,  and with your faith and love in our hearts.  Amen.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty God,

whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,

and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:

give us grace to discipline ourselves in obedience to your Spirit;

and, as you know our weakness,

so may we know your power to save;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Lord God,

you have renewed us with the living bread from heaven;

by it you nourish our faith,

increase our hope,

and strengthen our love:

teach us always to hunger for him who is the true and living bread,

and enable us to live by every word

that proceeds from out of your mouth;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

 

Heavenly Father,

your Son battled with the powers of darkness,

and grew closer to you in the desert:

help us to use these days to grow in wisdom and prayer

that we may witness to your saving love

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be

tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted

by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of

each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through

Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 4:1-11

 

Into the barren wilderness your Spirit leads, O God.

And in this harsh severity we find

appearances are boldly blind.

Stark incidental lures begin

the chasing after whims of chance

until you turn our hearts, our minds

to linger all this while on you

in Jesus Christ.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

As people who are given great hope in the midst of life’s desert places, we are called to reaffirm our baptismal confession at the Table of the Lord. As we offer our lives anew, let us prepare this Table with offerings of our daily labors, that the world might join us in this hope and faith.

 

Offertory Prayer

In these gifts, O God, we acclaim you as our Lord. May they be useful to you in bringing your kingdom into full flower through the ministries of your church, we pray in Christ’s name.

 

Invitation to the Table (adapted from Alexander Campbell)

The Holy One says: “Why spend money on that which does not satisfy?  Why spend your wages and still be hungry?  Listen to me, and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all.  Listen now my people, and come to me; come to me and you will live.”  Christ invites to this table all who confess him as Lord and seek to follow in his way.  Come to this sacred table, not because you must, but because you may.  Come not because you are fulfilled, but because in your emptiness you stand in need of God’s mercy and assurance.  Come not to express an opinion, but to seek a presence and to pray for a spirit.  Come, then, sisters and brothers, as you are.  Partake and share.  It is spread for you and me that we might again know that God has come to us, shared our common lot, and invited us to join the people of God’s new age.

 

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)

Loving God, your Son Jesus Christ endured the harsh desert and the temptation of an easy path to glory, that we who follow him from baptismal waters might be enabled face the struggles and temptations of life in the faith. Help us to find in his example a way toward deeper communion with you. May we experience your presence anew in the breaking of this bread and drinking of this cup. Pour out your Spirit upon them, and upon us, that we might be refreshed in our hope, and made ready to follow the voice of the Savior in our world.

 

OR

  1. Holy God, loving Creator, close to us as breath and distant as the farthest star, we thank you for your constant love for all you have made.  We thank you for all that sustains life, for all people of faith in every generation who have given themselves to your will, and especially for Jesus Christ, whom you have sent from your own being to be our Savior.  Bless this bread, and our lives as we receive it, that we may be the body of Christ, and be empowered to live faithfully in his name.
  2. O God, as we praise you for Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection, and for calling forth your church to continue his mission in the world, we pray that you would bless this fruit of the vine.  Send down your Spirit to us in the drinking of this wine, that our eyes may be opened, and we may recognize the risen Christ in our midst, in each other, and in all for whom Christ died.

 

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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Ash Wednesday 2017

Ash Wednesday A

 

March 1

 

A SUGGESTED ORDER FOR THE SERVICE IS AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS ENTRY

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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:

Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 Psalm 51:1-17 2 Corinthians 5:20b – 6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

 

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: The day of the Lord is coming! The day of the Lord is near!

P: The time is fulfilled: The reign of God is at hand!

L: O people, repent! Believe in the gospel!

P: Come, let us turn and follow the Lord!

 

OR

L: Once again, as the season of Lent begins, 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.

 

OR

L: Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning. Rend your hearts and not your clothing.

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

L: Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

L: Why should it be said among the peoples, “Where is their God?”

P: Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

 

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Faithful God of life and of all the living, we give you thanks that you have not called us to walk the road to the cross alone. Thank you that you are there with us, and that we have these friends who journey by our sides. Bless our time together in worship, so that we may draw strength from you, be encouraged by your Holy Spirit to go on, and never lose sight of your Son Jesus Christ, our brother and our Lord.

 

OR

Most holy God, your Son came to save sinners; knowing our own humanity and the frailty of life, we come to this season of repentance confessing our unworthiness, asking for new and honest hearts, and the healing power of your forgiveness. Grant this, we pray, through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

 

OR

We, your people, come to claim your promise of salvation, O reconciling God. In your wholeness, we find healing. In your power, we gain strength. In your love, we are thrust beyond our own concerns to embrace a hurting world. Blow the trumpet, that this solemn assembly may rejoice, that remembrance can bring renewal, through Christ. Amen

 

OR

Holy God, our lives are open before you. Rescue us from the chaos of sin, through the death of your Son bring us healing, and in his resurrection, make us whole, for we wait upon you.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty and everlasting God,

you hate nothing that you have made

and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:

create and make in us new and contrite hearts

that we, worthily lamenting our sins

and acknowledging our wretchedness,

may receive from you, the God of all mercy,

perfect remission and forgiveness;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

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 have given your only Son to be for us

both a sacrifice for sin

and also an example of godly life:

give us grace

that we may always most thankfully receive

these his inestimable gifts,

and also daily endeavour

to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

 

Holy God,

our lives are laid open before you:

rescue us from the chaos of sin

and through the death of your Son

bring us healing and make us whole

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

A Complete Order of Worship

The ancient tradition behind this service goes back to the 10th century, and has always focused on our mortality in solemn word and sign.

            The ashes, made of palm leaves from the previous year’s Palm Sunday worship, recall for us the redemption that is ours through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In him, we rise from the ashes of mortality to newness of life—redeemed and enabled to serve the world in his name.

 Opening Prayer and Introduction to the Service

            My friends, God has called us to this gathering of solemnity and hope.

             Let us pray:   Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent.  Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that, lamenting our sins and acknowledging our mortality, we may receive from you new life, perfect forgiveness and peace, through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

            Today we begin our 40 day journey toward Easter.  We enter the Lenten season to prepare ourselves to welcome the risen Christ with lives renewed by the breath of his spirit.  We begin anew the disciplines of self-examination, confession and penitence.  We dedicate ourselves to meditate upon the scriptures and to converse with God in prayer.  We seek to be more faithful disciples of Christ whose lives are shaped by the one whom we confess to be Lord and Savior of the world. 

            As we begin this season of preparation for the great feast, we mark ourselves with ashes—an act that actually pre-dates the church of Jesus Christ—symbolic of our recognition that we are not gods, but mortals; that we are not good, but are sinners; that we have not yet attained the fullness of our callings in Christ, but are yet on the journey; that we are dust, and that we will return to dust.  Yet God has seen fit not to leave us in the dust, but to raise us with Christ, through baptismal faith, to everlasting life.  To that end, let us join in the responsive reading.

    (Note that additional Psalms, hymns or other music, as well as silent reflection, are appropriate interludes between the readings which follow)

The Old Testament Lesson 

Psalm (may be omitted when Psalm 51 used as act of confession, below)

The Epistle Lesson

The Gospel Lesson

Homily (Optional and brief commentary on one of the texts or the meaning of the day in our life)

Invitation to God’s Forgiveness, and to the Lenten Season

            Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:  Christians have always observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection.  It became the custom of the church to prepare for Easter by a season of penitence, fasting and prayer.  This season of 40 days provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for baptism into the body of Christ.  It is also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had been separated from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the church.  The whole congregation is thus reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and of the need we all have to renew our baptismal faith.

            I invite you, in the name of the Lord, to observe a holy Lent, by self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, and acts of charity; and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.  To make a right beginning, and as a mark of our mortality, let us now bow before our Creator and Redeemer in prayer.  Let us pray together.

      OR

            Brothers and sisters in Christ, God created us to experience joy in communion with him, to love all humanity, and to live in harmony with all of God’s creation.  But sin separates us from God, our neighbors, and creation, and so we do not enjoy the life our Creator intended for us.  And by our sin we grieve the Lord, who does not desire us to come under judgment, but to turn to him and live.  As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are called to struggle against all that would lead us away from love of God and neighbor.  Repentance, fasting, prayer and works of love and justice—the disciplines of Lent—help us to confront and by God’s power to overcome the powers of evil.  Lent is also a time to remember and celebrate anew the meaning of our baptisms, and to hear again the gospel call to lives of ministry and grace.  I invite you, therefore, to commit yourselves to these devotions as we enter a time of repentance and communion together, asking God for strength to persevere and to find the light of Christ’s resurrection in the days that lie ahead.

The Blessing Of Ashes

            Let us pray:  God our Creator, you sent your beloved Son, Jesus, to be our  brother. The burden of your love for humankind led him to accept death, death on a cross, so that all people might live. Though we were buried with Christ in baptism and raised up to a new life of freedom, we have not lived fully as your sons and daughters; your reign of love and justice is still not fully manifest in us.   Bless these ashes and your people who are marked by them. Grant that this may be a symbol of our inner renewal, a sign of our change and growth, a first step in our returning home to your love; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

      OR

            Let us pray:  Almighty God, you have created us out of the dust of the earth.  Grant that as we contemplate our mortality, our experience of ashes may be to us the beginning of our new life of repentance and grace, so that we may remember that only by your gracious gift are we given everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Savior.  Amen.

The Imposition Of Ashes

You are invited to come and receive the mark of ashes on your forehead as a sign of your mortality and of God’s promise of new life.

Invitation to Confession (and Forgiveness)

(Pastoral note: In some traditions, words of forgiveness are omitted during Lent from any act of worship, substituting a prayer that God hear our cries for mercy and offer grace.  Absolution is offered here, and discretion is left with pastors and communities with convictions either way.)

            If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sin, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God as we join in the responsive Psalm of confession.

Confession of Sin:  Responsive Psalm 51:1-5, 9-13  (see suggested parsing below)

    (Silent Confession)

The Words Of Forgiveness

            Hear the word of God’s reconciling love toward all.  Through Christ, God chose to reconcile the whole universe, making peace through the shedding of Christ’s blood upon the cross—to reconcile all things, whether on earth or in heaven, through Christ.  Friends, hear and believe the good news….

     L:  …. In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

P:  In Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.  Glory to God!   Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer  (we use “sins”)

Celebration of Our Salvation:  The Lord’s Supper

   (Note: The tradition of Ash Wednesday is to offer a penitential time of prayer to God, without the celebration of the Eucharist.  This does not meet the editor’s understanding of the season nor of the nature of the faith in which “all things have become new” – even during Lent.  In communities where the observance of this day allows for the presence of those whose theology does not allow for inter-communion, the omission of Eucharist from the service does allow for full participation of all present, so sensitivity to the body about to be gathered should help the minister in deciding whether or not to offer a celebration of the Supper.  Order offered below allows for the entirety to be presided over by one minister, but table leadership could also be shared with elders, if desired.)

            Invitation

            Hymn

            Thanksgiving and Breaking of the Bread

And now we give you thanks O God, because you give us the spirit of discipline so that we may triumph over evil and grow in grace, as we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with hearts and minds renewed.  For in these forty days you lead us into the desert of repentance, that through a pilgrimage of prayer we may grow in grace and learn to be your people once again.  Lord Jesus, remember us in your kingdom and teach us to give thanks for your saving and reconciling love, for on the night you were betrayed …  (Words of Institution)

….Give your spirit to us, O Lord, as we receive your gifts and look forward to the fullness of joy that is ours in the resurrection to eternal life.  (BREAK BREAD) 

L: …Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Blessed are those who are called to his supper.

               P:  Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Sharing of Bread and Cup

Closing Thanksgiving (unison)

            For the gift of life in Jesus Christ your Son, we give you thanks, O Lord.   For the gift of your scripture, and for this covenant community in which we live them out, we praise you.  For the gifts of signs and sacraments, for seasons and the promises they bring, we rejoice.  Lead us forth by your Spirit to do your will in the coming days, that in Christ we may experience the joy of resurrection as this season comes to full blossom.  Amen.

The Blessing

Holy God, through the discipline of these 40 days, make your spirit’s cleansing fire burn within us.  Lift us from the dying embers of our inattention.  Mark us with the sign of your holy passion.  Make us ready to respond to the call of Jesus Christ.   Make us your very own and bless us with your peace.

The Sending Forth

L: Go in peace. Serve the Lord.

P:  Thanks be to God!

            OR

L:  Go forth in the name of Christ  with hearts attuned to God, bearing truthful speech and love, knowing you can neither wander from God’s presence nor be cut off from God’s Holy Spirit.

 P:   We go as God’s forgiven and empowered people to bring reconciliation and peace.

L:  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.

P:   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all God’s blessings.

 L:  Who forgives all your sins and heals all your infirmities.

P:   Who redeems your life from the grave, and crowns you with mercy  and loving kindness.  Bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

Alternate:  Great Thanksgiving for Ash Wednesday

(For some congregations, when the Eucharist is to be offered, Ash Wednesday provides a unique opportunity for an experience of a different kind of presidency by the minister at the Table.  This text is particularly relevant in its content for the congregation as an aid in recalling salvation history.   Only those portions requiring congregational response need to be printed in a worship bulletin, and in fact may be substituted at the beginning with “Let us lift up our hearts and give thanks to the Lord our God.”)

            L: The Lord be with you.

P:  And also with you.

            L: Lift up your hearts.

P:  We lift them up to the Lord.

            L: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

P:  It is right to give God thanks and praise.

Blessed are you, Lord our God, Creator and Sovereign of the universe.  You were God before time began.  You have seen every sun rise, every day begin, since you first gave form to our home, this earth.  You launched it into your universe, shaped its hills, and filled its seas.  You brought life into being, and in time made us in your image, male and female.

            But we were not content with such a paradise.  We rebelled, putting our wills before yours.  Even then, we found you boundless in love.  Time and again, you reached out to us with love and mercy.  You made a covenant to take us to be your people, and we promised to live faithfully with you.  When we failed, you put your words on the lips of women and men who gave themselves to calling us home to you.

            We join with those of all times and places, from the north and the south, from the east and the west, as one voice in praising your name at your feast of love and redemption, even as we remember with thanksgiving your Son Jesus.

            When the time was ready, you sent Christ to be servant of all.  He who is closest to your heart has come to make you known to us.  He performed great signs to reveal your presence with us, and called us in faith to trust your love and obey your calling.

            When his hour had come, he accepted the baptism of death.  By your power, he was raised from the grave.  And having triumphed over death, he continues to make his presence known with us as we await the completion of all things in him.

            On the night…(Words of Institution – but do not break loaf)

When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we know anew the presence of the living Christ and look to the day when we shall feast in his eternal kingdom.  Until then, we pray that you will join this memorial made by your people, bound by earth and time, to the heavenly and timeless offering of Christ himself.  Pour out your Spirit upon us gathered here out of love for you, and upon these gifts of bread and wine.  May these signs of breaking bread and drinking wine together reveal Christ among us, and may your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one with you in service throughout the world.  This we pray through your Son Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray boldly, our Father…

Breaking of the Bread

Because there is one loaf, we, many as we are, are one body, for it is one bread of which we all partake.

When we break the bread, it is a sharing in the body of Christ.  (Break bread)

When we give thanks over the cup, it is a sharing in the blood of Christ. (Elevate chalice)

These are the gifts of God for all the people of God.   

       

Suggested Parsing of Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love;

According to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.

Cleanse me from my sin.

I know my transgressions; my sin is forever before me.

Against you, you alone, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.

So you are just in your sentence, blameless when you pass judgment.

Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.          

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let my crushed bones rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

            Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

You have no delight in sacrifice; a burnt offering would not please you.

The sacrifice you accept is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not reject.

Ed. note: We regret that the layout of this blog does not allow for an easy means of communicating poetically, especially as witnessed in some of the prayers, and certainly in the parsing of this Psalm.

 

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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Transfiguration A

Transfiguration A

 

Feb. 26

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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 for each individual pericope:

Exodus 24:12-18 Psalm 2 or Psalm 99 2 Peter 1:16-21

Matthew 17:1-9

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

95 Jesus Shall Reign

22-All creatures of our God and King

90-Come, Christians, join to sing

241 Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

182 Transform Us

390 Lord of Our Highest Love

416-Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Exodus 24:12-18

 

‘Come up to me’ commands

our God: a lift of heart

becomes our welling choice,

abandon to become

companion now

in this ascent

to meet the face

of holiness.

 

Come up, come up, we hear.

And to arise in hope

we clamor carefully

to mount the higher scale;

in solitude,

encounter all,

surpassing hope

and all that cloys.

 

Upon the mountain, then,

this glory of our God

wraps as a mantle life

and limb and satiety

until we lift

in company

our hearts made whole

and fired with joy.

 

6.6.6.6.4.4.4.4.3               Suggested tune: Darwall’s 148th

 

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 99 is on p. 751

 

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: We who have come to follow Jesus hear his voice, calling us to be apart for a little while.

P: We will listen and follow, and open ourselves to new visions.

L: The one who leads us will reveal to us who he is.

P: May our hearts be open to God’s bright glory, shining in the face of Christ the Son!

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God of light and truth, you are beyond our grasp or conceiving. Before the brightness of your presence, the angels veil their faces. With lowly reverence and adoring love, we acclaim your glory and sing your praise, for you have shown us your truth and love in Jesus Christ our Savior. Help us to see him more clearly as we gather in his name, and through him to find our way to living faithfully as your children. (for we pray as he taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Transforming God, you have given us a vision of your glory in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Hear us as we bring to you our own lives to be transformed by you through your redeeming presence in the midst of this community.  In a world which can so easily become dull to the wonder of your glory, we pray that we would be made salt and light, awakening all of those who come near to us with your Spirit which dwells within us.

 

Open us to the needs of those who pass our way.  Help us to serve you by serving them in the spirit of your Son, who showed us the way to life in its fullness.  Give us grace to honor his name in the life which we build together here.  To those who hunger, make of us bread; to those who lack shelter, make us to be a home; for those who are lost and lonely, make of us the peace and joy of Christ to them.  May we bring hope and a future to those whose lives are growing dim.  Hear our prayers for those whose lives are closely linked with our own, which we offer to you silence along with our own needs [a time of silence is kept].

 

Lead us, Lord, in your righteousness; make your way plain before our faces; for it is you, alone, O God, who make us to dwell in safety.  As we hear your word, speak to us once again, and as we receive the gifts of your table, let us experience Christ anew in celebration and praise.  Send us forth in your Spirit, we pray, to rejoice in every moment of our lives, for we offer these and all our prayers in Christ’s name.

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect

 

Almighty Father,

whose Son was revealed in majesty

before he suffered death upon the cross:

give us grace to perceive his glory,

that we may be strengthened to suffer with him

and be changed into his likeness, from glory to glory;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

 

Post Communion

 

Holy God,

we see your glory in the face of Jesus Christ:

may we who are partakers at his table

reflect his life in word and deed,

that all the world may know his power to change and save.

This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Alternative Collect

 

Holy God,

you know the disorder of our sinful lives:

set straight our crooked hearts,

and bend our wills to love your goodness and your glory

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

O God, who before the passion of your only‑begotten Son

revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that

we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be

strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his

likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,

for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 17:1-9

 

By brightness of all heaven’s lode,

you bring refreshment to our hearts, O God.

We do not understand;

we stammer in our foolishness;

we see the least of all

while you expose us to

your bright compelling light.

As you are all so pleased, O God,

entice us to delight sublime.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

The wonderful works of God surround us. How will we show our gratitude? The generosity of God exceeds all our limits. How will our manner of life reflect the abundance of God’s mercy? Surely our offerings are one measure of our response.  Let us prepare the Table of the Lord with the fruits of our lives and our labors.

 

Offertory Prayer

Almighty God, giver of every good and perfect gift, teach us to give to you all that we have and all that we are, that we may praise you not with our words only, but with our whole lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

In revealing a glimpse of God’s glory upon the mountain, Christ prepared his people to bear the challenge and chaos of the days of his passion which was to come. Today, he prepares in us a place of refuge and rest, of glory and wonder, of peace and encouragement in the gifts of this Table. The gift of God for our salvation is Christ himself. The gift of this Table to which he calls us is Christ himself. Let us enter with joy into the mystery of our faith.

 

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)

O God of life and glory, upon the Mountain of Transfiguration you revealed your light within your Son Jesus Christ. As he was drawn into the brilliance of your presence, so draw us now into the wonder of your presence here among us as we receive the bread which he offers, the wine which he pours. Nourish us and send us forth in the power of your Spirit to live faithfully as your beloved children, we pray in the name of 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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

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.

 

Epiphany 7A

Epiphany 7A

 

Feb. 19  Week of Compassion

 

This ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia is supported by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund.

 

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

 

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18

Psalm 119:33-40

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23

Matthew 5:38-48

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

618 – How Firm a Foundation

608 – I Would Be True

275 – Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation

410 –  Now we come before God’s presence

 

The Oremus Hymnal offers many good choices for the lectionary (although this 2010 version will have incorrect calendar dates).  Not all are available in Chalice Hymnal, but some may be helpful in congregations where there is not a Chalice Hymnal available.  Visit the Oremus Hymnal.

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 (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 5:38-48

 

Be perfect as our God is so:

the brash abundance claims

our sight, engages everything

in stark provision’s sight.

 

Indeed, perfection is of God

and rattles barren here

where normal longings bare to grope

divine reserves for hope.

 

But in perfection lies the truth

of cheek that turn and cloaks

that yield to needs of barren back:

live generosity.

 

To love the enemy is asked;

and so we find the call:

absolve offense, dissolve in care,

a life that dares be pure.

 

CM          Suggested tune: Manchester

 

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:  See Call to Worship below

 

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  (adapted from the Psalm)

L: Teach us, O LORD, the way of your statutes, and we will observe it to the end.

P: Give us understanding, that we may keep your law and observe it with our whole hearts.

L: Lead us in the path of your commandments, for we delight in it.

P: See how we have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give us life.

 

OR

L: Turn us to your ways, O God, and send us into the world to proclaim your love.

P: Make us mindful of the needs of others and open our hearts to your calling.

L: Make us lovers of all who will open our arms to embrace our neighbor’s need.

P: And send us into the world of bearers of your grace, mercy, justice and love.

L: O God of wisdom and truth, come to us and fill us.

P: O God of compassion and hope, make us witnesses for you.

 

OR

L: Let us turn to the God who loves us and send us into the world to live in love.

P: May we be mindful of the needs of others and open our hearts to God’s calling.

L: God will empower us to open our arms to embrace our neighbor’s need.

P: And send us into the world of bearers of grace, mercy, justice and love.

L: May the God of wisdom and truth come to us and fill us.

P: May the God of compassion and hope, make us faithful to Christ’s mission.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

Almighty God, you have called us together as a people for praise.  As we offer up our gifts in worship at the Table you have prepared, remold us as a holy people, fit to serve you by serving your world, in the name and spirit of the Christ.  (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

Spirit of the Living God, open our hearts to a far-reaching compassion that extends around the world, to the most obscure corners of this troubled planet.  Help us to remember that you are God of all people.  God of time and space, give us time to grow up in your spirit; give us room to grow up in our faith, so that we know the meaning of the kind of love which knows no boundary and no second thoughts, but springs forth like a fountain.  And may Christ, the source of this love, remember us as we remember him in our responses of faithfulness.  Amen

 

Pastoral Prayer – Prayers of the People – Intercessions

Gracious and loving God, we come to you with hearts that need to be opened to your word and your love.  There is so much around us that tears at us and causes us to tremble.  Keep us ever mindful of your presence and the hope that you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ.

 

Guide us, we pray, as your church, struggling to spread the good news.  Keep us focused on the mission and ministry to which you have called us and lead us forward.  We know, Lord, that there will often be bumps and holes in the road along the way.  Save us from dwelling on them and make us secure in the goals you have placed before us.

 

Hear our prayers for all who need your tender touch of healing in their lives—those we name before you each day, and those who are known only to you in the depths of our hearts.  Be with those who mourn.  May we all remember the love and grace that your faithful people have brought to our world.

 

We pray for all your creation, always at odds with one another.  Guide our leaders and those of other nations that this world might truly be as you created it to be—a world of peace, hope and love.

 

These are our prayers, together with those that lie on the hearts of all your faithful people, which we offer to you in the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ who said “not my will, but thine be done.”

 

OR

        “Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life” is sung where indicated between the petitions

 

The voice of God calls us to prayer in a world of conflict and terrible need.  Let us open our hearts and come before God in love, that we may find our way in the world of God’s care.

 

Let us pray for people; for all who suffer; for those who are deprived of the most basic needs of life; who never have enough room, or clothes, or food; for whom no one seems to care.  Silence; v. 1

 

Let us pray for people, for all who live in fear; who cannot trust tomorrow because it may bring terror or famine or war; for those whose days are without hope, who see no promise but only new misery.  Silence; v.2

 

Let us pray for people, for all those whose souls are wounded by the hurt of the world; for all those who can help and who find a way to help, overcoming apathy and obstacles, sometimes risking life.  Let us thank God for people of hope and courage who in their caring share love with the world.  Silence; v. 4

 

Lord God, rescue us from helplessness and fill us with new wisdom which forbids our blindness to the terrible needs of our brothers and sisters.  Become yourself our spirits’ Spirit and let us be your presence in our needy world, through Christ our Lord.

 

OR (adapted from above)

Loving God, give us grace to become a more compassionate and giving people, as we pray for all who suffer; for those who are deprived of the most basic needs of life; who never have enough room, or clothes, or food; for whom no one seems to care.

Ours is a world filled with many who live in fear; who cannot trust tomorrow because it may bring terror or famine or war; for those whose days are without hope, who see no promise but only new misery.  As we know the Christ who has called us to his mission, may we bring hope and a future by the faithful deeds which he has taught us.

Hear our prayers, O Lord, for all those whose souls are wounded by the hurt of the world; for all those who can help and who find a way to help, overcoming apathy and obstacles, sometimes risking life.  We thank you for people of hope and courage who in their caring share love with the world.

Now rescue us from helplessness and fill us with new wisdom which forbids our blindness to the terrible needs of our brothers and sisters.  Become yourself our spirits’ Spirit and let us be your presence in our needy world, through Christ our Lord.

 

OR

Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on us.  Open our hearts to a far-reaching compassion that extends around the world, to the most obscure corners of this troubled planet.  Let us remember you are God of all people: the beautiful and the homely; the well-dressed and the naked; the rich & the hungry; the ones who speak loudly and those who barely utter a word; the ones who have bodies of steel and those whose bodies are broken and bent; the very young and the very old.  God of time and space, give us time to grow up in your spirit; give us room to grow up in our faith so that our ears may hear the knock at the door, the cry for help, the whimper of weakness, the sigh of loneliness and so our hands will reach out with the love of your Son.  Teach us the meaning of this kind of love which knows no boundary and no second thoughts but springs forth like a fountain.  And may the source of this love remember us as we remember him in our responses of faithfulness.  Amen

 

Prayers from Common Worship*

Collect Almighty God, you have created the heavens and the earth and made us in your own image: teach us to discern your hand in all your works and your likeness in all your children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns supreme over all things, now and for ever. Post Communion God our creator, by your gift the tree of life was set at the heart of the earthly paradise, and the bread of life at the heart of your Church: may we who have been nourished at your table on earth be transformed by the glory of the Saviour’s cross and enjoy the delights of eternity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Additional Collect Almighty God, give us reverence for all creation and respect for every person, that we may mirror your likeness in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

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

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we

do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our

hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace

and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted

dead before you.  Grant this for the sake of your only Son

Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy

Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Collect of the Day  from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2017, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 5:38-44

 

Beyond our understanding, O God,

you bid us love

exactly where love seems too odd to bear.

Yet, in this quality of your allure,

we find ourselves abandoned unto joy

we had not quite considered yet.

And in this moment of exultant joy,

begin in us your way of amplified perfection.

 

Service of Table  

Offertory / Invitation to Give

All good things come from God, the giver of life. We are called as stewards of God’s gifts to share in fulfillment of God’s purposes for creation – for the recreation of this world as a place where love and compassion are seen and known everywhere.  As stewards of the kingdom of God, let us give from our abundance with thanksgiving as we present our tithes and offerings to the Lord.

 

Offertory Prayer

O God, we know that you are the Creator of everything.  You own everything.  But you also give each of us a partnership in your world for awhile.  We give thanks for your generosity, and we ask that you would increase our own generosity, that your world might be touched by the love that you have created us to bear, and be cared for with the compassion of Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 

Invitation to the Table

Come alive, dear friends, at the sound of Christ’s challenge to love beyond the convenient ways that people love in this world.  We are called to give beyond reasonable expectations, and to love beyond those who find it easy to love us in return.  This is the faith we profess whenever we come to the Table of Christ – a faith that owns the compassionate Christ as the one we would follow – the one who eats and drinks with sinners, still today, as he asks even us to come and receive the gifts that bring life.  May our celebration of this bread broken and cup poured out be for us the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to make possible the most unlikely scenario of all: the coming of all God’s children to eat and drink at the Table of God in unity and in peace.

 

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)

  1. Blessed are you, Lord God, who brings forth bread from the earth.  As we bless and break this loaf, may it be for us the body of Christ, that all who receive it might find strength to live faithfully with you in the days to come.  Nourish us by your spiritual food that your whole world might be fed.
  2. Blessed are you, Lord God, who brings forth the fruit of the vine.  Send now your Spirit of Life upon this cup, and upon us, that as we receive from your hand the blood of Christ we would be refreshed and encouraged with your grace to bring new hope and refreshment of life to our world through faithful living.

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 2016.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2016; Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010.   The Revised Common Lectionary is copyright © the Consultation on Common Texts 1992.  The Daily Eucharistic Lectionary is adapted from the Ordo Lectionum Missae of the Roman Catholic Church reproduced by permission of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.  Adaptations and additions to the RCL and the DEL, together with Second and Third Service lectionaries and the Weekday Lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer are copyright © the Archbishops’ Council 1997-2010.   http://almanac.oremus.org/lectionary

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

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