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Lent 2A

 

Mar. 8

 

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

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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
(Matthew text is Transfiguration text, which can be seen on Sunday before Lent begins, if not previously observed)

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

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

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Genesis 12:1-4a

 

Against the wisdom we attend

you call, O God.  We hear.

You bid abandon be our way

and follow on your word.

 

Intent on visions of raw hope,

of open future’s scan,

we find your message on our hearts,

the kind caressing plea.

 

Beyond familiarity,

beyond our favored schemes,

you tell of promise in the air,

of blessing in your breath.

 

So Abram went as God did say,

left all behind again

in order to pursue the dream

that God has dreamt for him.

 

And so we rise upon the voice

to trace the promised wisp

and learn of yearning in the heart:

it yields of God’s desire.

 

CM     Suggested tune: Wiltshire

 

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.

 

OR

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

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

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

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

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: We come this day hoping to encounter Christ.
P: We come with burdens and questions that only He can answer.
L: May we open our hearts to Him.
P: May our lives be healed and strengthened for service.

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: We look for help.
P: Where will it come from?
L: Our help will come from the Lord who created the heavens and the earth.
P: Let our hearts rejoice in God’s kindness and love.

 

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

Invitation to Confession

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

Silent Prayer 

Responsive Prayer

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

P: Lord, have mercy.

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

P: Christ, have mercy.

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

P: Lord, have mercy.

 

Words of Forgiveness

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

 

Confession of Sin

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

     (silent prayer)

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

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

Lord, we are such stubborn people. We want to know all the answers. We find it hard to place our trust even in your Son. When Jesus proclaims that we can have a new life, we want to know how this is possible. How can we get rid of the old burdens and difficulties and start over again? Wouldn’t it be just like climbing back into the womb to make a fresh start? How we have misunderstood what Jesus has said. New life is possible. We can place our trust in God’s healing care. Forgive us, and help us, gracious Lord. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

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…”)

 

OR

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

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

Gracious and glorious Lord, we come, as did Nicodemus, with questions on our hearts and in our lives. We come hoping someone can help us find answers and healing. But we are also hardened with doubts about self, others, and even you. Grant us healing and openness to your spirit that we may be better servants of your word, your will, and your way. (This we pray as our Savior taught us, saying, “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.

 

OR

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

Lord, like the lawyer Nicodemus, we come to you in hidden ways. We have lots of questions and concerns. We aren’t sure that you will even listen to them or that you will think our queries are foolish. New life sounds wonderful. We have made messes in this life, some of which we have cleaned up, but there are others that we have swept under the rug, hidden away in the closet, hidden from ourselves and we believe hidden from you. But you know us better than we want to be known. You know our thoughts and actions. Help us, Lord. How can we turn things around so that there is peace and hope? We offer to you concerns for family, community, and nation; and yet we don’t really expect that anything will change. We are unwilling to change ourselves, and so change for the world appears a wispy dream. Bring your presence powerfully to us. Convince us of the hope that rests in you alone. For we offer this prayer in Jesus’ Name. 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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 3:1-17

Born from above, O God,

by your commanding grace,

we come to you afresh.

For by the Spirit we are renewed

in thoroughgoing gentleness of heart,

aligned with your sublime allure

in Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Service of Table

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

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.

 

OR

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.

 

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.

 

OR

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

 

Invitation to the Table

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.

 

OR

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)

 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

 

OR

Almighty and ever-lasting God, as we gather to break bread at the table which your Christ has given us, may we be opened anew to his presence in our midst, be nourished to receive the gifts which you pour out upon us so abundantly, and be refreshed to live with joy and anticipation of his coming reign in our world. Pour out your Spirit, we pray, upon this bread and cup. Make them to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we might be his body, cleansed by his blood, and ready to serve him in newness of life. 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.  

 

OR

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

 

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 2019. Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

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

 

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Lent 1A

 

March 1

 

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

 

Support Our Work … read how you can help keep lifeinliturgy.org available for use without subscription charges.

 

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

 

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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Matthew 4:1-11

 

Into the wilderness we tread,

led by the Spirit all along,

to find in desert clime the weight

of bitterness, temptation’s plight.

There, in the spare land, desert waits

to calibrate attractive lies.

 

After the forty days of fast,

and forty nights of emptiness,

as hunger wears his belly thin,

the Lord encounters clever wiles:

A stone to be a loaf of bread,

presumption honor on a wink.

 

Alone, alone as wilderness

exerts its strain upon the soul

and fantasies of folly rise

before the desert-taunted eyes

until, in faithfulness, we pause

and sip at angels’ ministry.

 

8.8.8.8.8.8.     Suggested tune: St. Chrysostom

 

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.

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: Happy are the people whose sins are forgiven!
P: God’s forgiveness is poured on them as a healing balm.
L: Happy are the people who place their trust in God.
P: God’s presence is their guide and their strength.
L: Come, let us worship the God who forgives and heals us.
P: Let us celebrate God’s presence with us each day.

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

L: Today the journey begins. Are you ready?
P: There is so much I still have to do. I am not sure I’ll ever be ready.
L: Let go of those things that chain you to despair.
P: Lord, help me look and see the ways in which I have abandoned you.
L: Come, let us worship and feel the power of freedom in God.
P: Open our hearts today to receive your freeing love, O Lord. Amen.

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

L: The path is unknown to us, O Lord. We fear the Lenten journey.
P: There may be hidden dangers, discoveries that we dread.
L: Help us, Lord. Be with us.
P: Let us take the first step safely, we pray. Amen.

 

OR adapted from ministrymatters.com

L: We are people of impatient hungers. We don’t want to wait.
P: We seek power and authority. We want to be in control, not to be controlled.
L: We are people whose personal safety is of highest concern.
P: We want to be protected and sheltered.
L: Stop our greed and selfishness, O Lord, and give us your words of comfort and hope.
P: Heal our hardened hearts, that we may live in loving service to others. Amen.

 

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…”)

 

OR

God of mercy, as we enter the season of Lent and turn our eyes with Christ’s disciples toward the cross, we ask that we may see clearly the sacrifice you have made for us, and then may we see as clearly the sacrifice we must make for others. Awaken us, God, to turn, to follow, and to serve in Christ’s name (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR from ministrymatters.com

Lord, we are so tempted by everything we see; the glitz and glitter of the world and the get-rich-quick schemes are placed before us. We believe that if we just have enough money, enough friends, enough power, enough safety we will be OK. Show us how foolish we are to place our hope and trust in these things. Give us hearts for loving service in which we will find our strength, our courage, our security, our home. (This we pray through Christ our Lord, who 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.

 

Additional 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 (© 2020, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

Matthew 4:1-11

After austerity, the Tempter comes, O God,

and toys upon our fuller pride.

Into the freshness of your way, Lord God,

sustain us in your care

until the hour of standing clear

under the ministry

your angels bring upon our fears.

 

Service of Table

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

 

Offertory / Invitation to Give

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.

 

OR

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

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
These, your gifts, O God, are returned for glory. Bless us with wisdom to use them as you would have us to; and bless our lives with courage to do your bidding, through Christ our Lord.

 

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.

 

OR

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. You who come to me shall not hunger; you who believe in me shall never thirst.” In company with all who hunger for spiritual food, we come to this table to know the risen Christ in the sharing of this life-giving bread.

 

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

O God of mercy, you showed your strength in the midst of trials through the patient endurance of your Son Jesus Christ in the wilderness days of his life. Hear us as we look to you, in the midst of our own wilderness, for strength, sustenance, our daily bread. Send forth your Spirit upon us, Lord, that as we break the bread that you have provided and drink the wine which you have poured out, we may have our spirits strengthened to face what each new day will present to us in this place. Give us the courage of faith to endure temptations and the hope of new life to enrich our joy, as we receive these gifts of Christ’s body and blood, which we offer up to you in his name for your blessing.

 

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 2019. Calendar for 2020

Sun 1 Dec 2019. CW* Almanac and Lectionary 2019-20. Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary. for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2019. Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2019 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries

using Almanac Maker. compilation © Simon Kershaw 2019 Almanac Maker © Simon Kershaw 2010-2019.

 

Book of Common Prayer (1979), Public domain.

 

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

 

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