Feb 15, 2018

Call to Worship: Covenant-Making God

Here’s a cumulative call to worship for each Sunday in Lent, using texts for Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary cycle. It was written by Rev. Ter Peterson and posted on LiturgyLink.

Responsive Call to Worship for Lent

Hear and believe the good news: God has called us “my people”!
God has set up a covenant, over and over again,
choosing us even before we can choose,
faithful even when we are faltering.
In the flood, in the wilderness, in exile;
in certainty and doubt, abundance and scarcity;
God’s promise is true to the thousandth generation.
We see the rainbow, we hear our names, we learn the commandments,
we look up for our help, we know in our hearts:
we love because God first loved us,
we follow because God first came to us,
we can be faithful because God is faithful.
Come, let us worship God together. 

~ written by Rev. Teri Peterson and posted on LiturgyLink. https://www.liturgylink.net/

Lent Intercessions: The Journey

Here’s a prayer of intercession for the Lent season. It was written by Ann Siddall and posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre website.

Prayer of Intercession for Lent

We pray today for all who are walking a hard journey:

for those whose daily paths encounter barbed wire and guns;
for those who did not want to leave home but were forced to;
for those who set out today in search of food and water;
for those whose journey is shattered by economic hardship;
for those whose journey is marred by pain or despair,
     and for those who faithfully journey alongside them;
for those who are making a move and beginning again;
for those who are clinging on to something that has ended;
for those who are being bullied, and for those who are bullying;
for those who have just taken their first breath, and
for those who today will take their last.

May this Lenten journey, with its stories
about the hard places of Jesus’ experience,
give strength and courage to all
whose journey is far from easy.
And may it inspire us to risk Christ’s Way of love
as we share the journey with other travelers.
We make this prayer in his name. Amen. 

~ written by Ann Siddall and posted on the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre website.  https://stillpointsa.org.au/

Lent Confession: Facing the Wilderness

Here’s a congregational prayer of confession inspired the time Jesus spent facing temptation in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:9-15, Luke 4:1-13). It was adapted from a prayer by Rev. Ron Gordon.

Prayer of Confession:
Facing the Wilderness
(inspired by Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:9-15, Luke 4:1-13)

Jesus Christ boldly faced the wilderness,
its dangers and wonders.  
He struggled with his mission
to make known God’s loving purposes for all people.
Guarded and guided by God’s Spirit,
he was triumphant and began to proclaim the Gospel,
and the hope that the reign of God would bring oppression to and end
and deliverance for those held captive.

On our lack of repentance
and our failure to believe the good news:
Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus,
your victory in the desert assures us
that as you followed the way of the cross
there were victories over evil in its many forms
until its powers were broken on the cross,
and you were raised triumphant forever.

On our lack of repentance
and our failure to believe the good news:
Christ, have mercy.

Grant us vision and courage
that in our time we may recognize and struggle
with all oppressing and dehumanizing forces in the world,
and become signs of the in-breaking of the reign of God.

On our lack of repentance
and our failure to believe the good news:
Lord, have mercy.  

~ adapted from a prayer by Rev. Ron Gordon. Posted on http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au /

Lent Reflection: Mark 1:9-15

Jennie Gordon has written this evocative poem, inspired by the events of Mark 1:9-15 (the baptism and temptations of Jesus).

Poetic Reflection:
The Baptism and Temptations of Christ
(inspired by Mark 1:9-15)

across the universe
through one immutable rend
in heaven’s curtained sphere
she descends upon you here
as rising you collide
in Jordan’s waters deep and wide
a voice speaks, pouring through the gash
of these ripped worlds
and blessing claims, names and re-frames
then she that bears you, births you
into enforced wilderness
and it becomes your task, your test,
you taste the tempter’s first but not his last caress
while angels wait
and forty days play long
and then, and only then,
the time is right for gospel song. 

~ copyright © Jennie Gordon 2008. Posted on http://pilgrimwr.unitingchurch.org.au/

Centering Prayer: Come, Fill Us

Here’s a centering or opening prayer from Rev. Scott Mckenna. It was posted on the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website.

Centering Prayer

In this sacred space,
in these moments of stillness,
our thoughts and silence are like incense.

Holy God,
Whose glory touches and transfigures the mind and the material,
Whose intimate, gentle Spirit embraces our vulnerability
and fills our empty spaces with hope,
may we know the deep calm that only You can give.
Through the mystery of absence and presence,
come, fill us with Your emptiness, Your eternal silence. 

~ excerpted from a longer prayer written by Rev. Scott Mckenna, Minister of Edinburgh Mayfield Salisbury. Posted on the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/