Third 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 following God’s ways?” 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 doc or your phone as well…but I’d recommend using an actual Bible.
This week’s liturgy is based on the following texts:
Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, John 2:13-22
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: Friends, we are invited to journey through this season of Lent
All: toward the One who calls us each by a new name.
Leader: We will follow Jesus wherever he leads us,
All: We will follow though we have our fears, our doubts, our longings.
Leader: We seek to trust the God who always surprises us,
All: whose promises are fulfilled in the good news of Jesus.
Leader: Come, let us worship our great God!
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 19 (NRSV),
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the decrees of the Lord are sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is pure,
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can detect their errors?
Clear me from hidden faults.
13 Keep back your servant also from the insolent;[d]
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
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 Exodus 20 (NRSV).
Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
And a reading from John 2 (NRSV),
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking of the temple of his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
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
God of all Hope,
we pray that you would hear our prayers,
and establish in our minds the same mind that is in you,
that we might be vessels of your humility and grace.
We thank you and we praise you
That you have led us through these 52 weeks…
For your faithfulness in times in trouble…
for those offering Christlike service in hospitals, laboratories, grocery stores, restaurants, and warehouses…
for your work as it continues in our community…
We pray for this world:
for all the people in it . . .
for those who are grieving and troubled . . .
for those who are in need of hope . . .
(pause and invite people to respond)…
We pray for your Church . . .
We pray for the strength and courage to follow you.
(At the end of this time of prayer, close with the following)
Lead us, O God, in the way of Christ.
Give us courage to take up your cross every day.
Help us to love you above all else
And to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
Give us strength to serve you faithfully
as we pray together the prayer you taught us to pray
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,
Now unto the One that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Savior,
be glory and majesty,
dominion and power,
both now and forever.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord,
In the name of Christ. Amen.
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