First Week of Lent
Preparation for Worship
Songs: Ask yourself and the people who will be worshipping with you (kids included), “What are some of the songs we sing about God’s faithfulness and promises?” Play them on Spotify, sing them acapella, or create your own instrumental arrangement.
Bible: You will need a Bible to read from the scriptures. You can use this page or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.
This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:
Genesis 9:8-17, Psalm 25:1-10, Mark 1:9-15
You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering. It would be great for every person to have a part.
Call to Worship
Leader: To you, O GOD, we lift up the spirit of our whole selves.
All: O God, we trust unashamedly in you;
seeking that you be not ashamed of us;
Leader: May we begin our Lenten journey together in right relationships;
All: Teach us. Show us. Guide us in your paths.
Grow us to know your ways more clearly.
Leader: You are the God of our salvation and the Sustainer of good relations.
All: For you we wait.
Leader: May integrity, a clean conscience, and upright living preserve us.
All: As in days of old, Creator God,
we come to look for your signs of covenant promises.
Like the rainbow days of Noah,
we see and know your signs
and hear your voice again
directing us to the places of preparation
and transformation in our lives and in our world.
Thank you God, For your covenant signs in this season of Lent. Amen.
Song of Praise
Sing one song that focuses on God’s love and God’s call.
Reading of the Psalm
The psalmist writes in Psalm 25 (NRSV),
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
Time of Confession
Leader: The season of Lent is a time to turn our hearts toward God and away from our sin. God takes broken promises and turns them into vows of faithfulness. God takes our biggest failings and shapes lives of service. God listens to our prayers of confession and changes them into songs of mercy.
Let us pray together now and offer our confession to God.
All: In a world where we worry about tomorrow before enjoying today, we pause now and pray. We worry about the things we cannot control. We seek after the temporary things that we desire rather than seeking your hope, joy, and the life you offer us.
Forgive us and have mercy on us, O God. In humility, may we offer our lives to others. May we share your grace with others. May we trust you in our worries. In hope, may we wait for you every day, as you come to us in the life and joy of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Pause for Silent Prayer
Assurance of Pardon
Leader: In this place we find God’s word, God’s way, God’s love, God’s forgiveness.
Hear the good news, in Christ Jesus, we are forgiven. Amen
(The time of listening is a series of reading the scripture, re-telling the story, and paying attention to where God is stirring your hearts as you listen. Invite everyone to listen to the words of the scriptures and to be ready to re-tell the story.)
A reading from Genesis 9 (NRSV).
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
And a reading from Mark 1 (NRSV),
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Let’s remember together what was said in this reading. What was said first? What happened next? (Go around the circle and tell the story to each other. Try to remember as many details as possible.)
What part of the scripture grabbed your attention? Why do you think that part stood out?
Let each person in the circle take a turn to wonder about something in this text . . . a word, a phrase, something that happened in the text, something that you’re thinking about. Start out by saying “As we read these texts, it made me wonder . . . ”
What will we carry into this week from this text?
How can we be praying this week?
Prayers of the People
Lord, listen to our prayers for ourselves at this time.
Bring to our minds the places we have compromised the truth;
the times we have shut our eyes and ears and hearts to the needs of others;
the times we have indulged ourselves to our own detriment.
Help us, dear God, to know that you forgive these things,
and give us strength to resist them in the future.
Pause for silent prayer
Lord, listen to our prayers for others at this time:
for those who are hungry or in need of healing and care;
for those who have faced tough things this week;
for those who are worried or stressed or weary.
Pause for silent prayer
Lord, speak to us in the silence of our hearts.
Show us the way to go…
And now we pray together the prayer you have taught us to pray, saying:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
Go now, and may God wrap his arms of love around you.
May Christ be beside you in times of struggle.
And may the Spirit guide you back to the path whenever you stray,
that you may keep the covenant.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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