March 14, 2021 Liturgy

Fourth 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?” 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:

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

You can decide who will lead the different movements of this gathering.  It would be great for every person to have a part.

Gathering

Opening Words

We have worshipped from home for one year now. God has faithfully led us through uncertain times. God has been with us in unsettling times. God has been near in times of trouble and fear. God is with us now. 

Today we remember and give thanks for God’s faithfulness in this journey.

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.

Some suggestions:

You’ve Been So Faithful

Great is Thy Faithfulness

In Christ Alone

His Mercy is More

Shine On Me (for kids)

One Way Jesus (for kids) 

For other song ideas click here.

Reading of the Psalm 

The psalmist writes in Psalm 107 (NRSV)

1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    for his steadfast love endures forever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

    those he redeemed from trouble

3 and gathered in from the lands,

    from the east and from the west,

    from the north and from the south.

17 Some were sick through their sinful ways,

    and because of their iniquities endured affliction;

18 they loathed any kind of food,

    and they drew near to the gates of death.

19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

    and he saved them from their distress;

20 he sent out his word and healed them,

    and delivered them from destruction.

21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

    for his wonderful works to humankind.

22 And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices,

    and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

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

Listening

(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 Numbers 21 (NRSV).

4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; but the people became impatient on the way. 

5 The people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food.” 

6 Then the Lord sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.”

So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

And a reading from John 3 (NRSV),

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

Re-Telling

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.).

Paying Attention

What is something you heard in the scripture reading today?

What is something you have learned in the past year? In what ways have you experienced God’s faithfulness this year?

What do you hope for in the year to come?

How can we pray today?

Responding

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

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, 

forever. Amen.

Sending

Benediction

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. 

PDF for print version HERE. For permission to print and redistribute, comment below.

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