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Lent 4B

 

March 11

 

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

 

Click on Scripture Lessons below for study links and resources:

Numbers 21:4-9 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Ephesians 2:1-10 John 3:14-21

 

Suggested Hymns from Chalice Hymnal

16-Come, thou Fount of every blessing

487-Help us accept each other

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

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

72-To God be the glory

 

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On Numbers 21:4-9

 

Against the bitter urgency

that plagues by human passion

the leading hand of God abides

inclining to deliver.

Yet in the bitter throes of rage

against deliverance’ design,

the bite of fiery serpents stings

with devastating malice.

 

A cry, a cry: deliver us

escapes the bitter voices.

For in this devastation reigns

the raging desolation.

Escape is past our longing hands,

beyond our every action.

Unto our God: O hear our cry!

Deliver us from danger.

 

As Moses follows at the word,

creates bronze serpent, signal

that now forgiveness intervenes

and mercy shall rejoin us.

So see the serpent lifted up,

the lifting of God’s loving,

that by compassion’s rolling tide

destruction is rescinded.

 

8.7.8.7.D  Suggested tune: Alleluia

 

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 107 (portions) are on p. 755

 

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

 

Call to Worship  

L: When darkness clouds our vision and uncertainty shakes our confidence, where do we reach for help?

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

L: How do we find a light to move forward with hope when all seems lost?

P:  Our hope is in God alone, and the light has come to shine among us in Jesus, who meets us and guides us on our way.

 

Invocation or Prayer of Approach  

God of love, you have loved us first and continue to love us. We come this morning longing to love you in return. We hunger for your healing love in our lives as we long to love ourselves and our neighbors. Fill our longing hearts as we join together to worship you, through Christ our Lord (who taught us to pray, “Our Father…”)

 

OR

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…”)

 

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 (who taught us to pray, 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

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 (© 2018, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 3:14-21

 

So lifted up, O Lord, we find

the sign of healing in the wind,

begun upon the gust of love

redeeming all the lost, as we,

unto the satiety you offer.

In the love you give, O God,

endow us with your light divine

to be the clearly seen.

 

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

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

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

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)

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 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.

 

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 2017.  Compiled by Simon Kershaw August 2016 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2017; 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.

 

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Lent 4B

 

March 15

 

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:

Numbers 21:4-9 Roman Catholic reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-17, 19-23 Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 Roman Catholic reading: Psalm 137:1-6

Ephesians 2:1-10 Roman Catholic reading: Ephesians 2:4-10

John 3:14-21

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.

16-Come, thou Fount of every blessing

487-Help us accept each other

426-The voice of Jesus calls his people

72-To God be the glory

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

 

 

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://www.modernpsalter.com/ or

http://lectionarypsalms.org/   

This week: Psalm 107 (portions) are on p. 755

Hymn of the Day from Rev. William Flewelling (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

On John 3:14-21

Strange this love, abiding Savior

broken on the cross for all,

finds for us the lifted ensign

healing every fatal sting.

Surely in this contemplation,

in the pealing at desire,

comes the earnest, every joying

at the gracious love of God.

Now abiding, ever lighting

every corner of desire,

Savior in lost condemnation

sate our hearts on your delight.

Graciously in every moment

at the lien of your delight,

find we brilliance in the darkness

coming for our life to shine.

Quietly, in awe-struck wonder,

coming to the lifted Christ,

find we now in all our service

that which frees us by design.

You, O Savior, given for us,

raised and crucified in time,

are become the surety found

for this world God loves so well.

8.7.8.7.D    Suggested tune: Rex Gloriae

Note: 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.

Words of Greeting/Call to Prayer  

L: We gather in the name of the living Christ to worship God.

P: Surely, God is in this place and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.

L: God’s love is for you and for all people everywhere.

P: That we may share God’s love and life, may we be renewed in the refreshing Spirit of the living Christ.

L: The living Christ is with us.

P: Praise the Lord!

Prayer of Approach

L: The Lord be with you.

P: And also with you.

L: Let us pray. O God, you are infinite, eternal and unchangeable, glorious in holiness, full of love and compassion, abundant in grace and truth. All your works praise you in all places of your dominion and your glory is revealed in Jesus Christ our savior, therefore we praise you, blessed and holy trinity, one god, for ever and ever (praying as our savior Christ has taught us, “Our Father…”)

 

Intercessions

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 (© 2014-2015, William Flewelling; All rights reserved)

John 3:14-21

Your gift, O God, in Jesus

founds every aspect of desire.

For wounds are answered by the sign,

the lifted up in the wilderness

to draw us nigh.

Begin now in this moment of your love

to brighten our designs on life

that what we are be wrought in you.

Service of Table

Preparation (Invitation)

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.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

(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.

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.

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.

Liturgies created by Moira Laidlaw (Uniting Church in Australia) as a part of her doctoral dissertation are often helpful.  Read more here.

 

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2014. Compiled by Simon Kershaw October 2014 from the Common Worship Calendar and Lectionaries using Almanac Maker; compilation © Simon Kershaw 2014; 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.

 

Read Full Post »