Rich Man and Lazarus: Lenten Links of Prayer for Narrative Lectionary

Invitation to by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Tracy Spencer-Brown) appreciated.

Luke 16:19-31 and Psalm 41:1-3 or Psalm 41:1

Call to Worship

You call us to you, O God, that we may worship together.

You call us away from our preoccupations and preconceptions,

That we might hear the words of life;

Words that call us to reflect, to repent, and to be replenished.

May we hear your Word to us as we worship.

Prayer of Confession

Compassionate God, we confess that we are a people that ignore that which is around us.  We are so focused on what we have to do and who we have to see, that we pass by those who are suffering.  We choose to turn away.  We ignore those begging for what they need to live.  We neglect those who are in need of healing.  We disregard our sisters and brothers who are oppressed by systems of our own creation.

Forgive us our willful ignorance, O God.  Break through the walls that we have erected to keep us safe and secure.  Open our eyes to those who are in pain.  Open our ears to their cries of injustice.  Compel us to change the systems that imprison so many, so that all your children might live in freedom.  In the name of Jesus, we pray…

Assurance of Pardon

Our God, who is faithful and just, sees us as we are in all our sinfulness.                                 Our God, who is full of grace and glory, forgives us our sin and restores us.                                 Our God, who breathed breath into us, gives us new life through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In gratitude and thanksgiving, we give thanks to God.  Amen.

Communion Prayer

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you praise, O God, for all that is comes from you.  Creation flowed through your mighty hand, singing your power and praise to the universe.  Through it, you provided all that we could need or want.  For all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, its beauty proclaims your glory and gives us a glimpse of your eternal love for us.  Throughout the ages, you have continued to provide for us, sending mothers and fathers of the faith to lead us.  Even when we strayed from your way, you sent your prophets to call us to account and to call us back to you.  In your time, you sent your Son, Jesus, that we might be healed and made whole, and reconciled to you forever.

Therefore we join our voices with the voices of the prophets and the apostles, and all the angels of heaven who forever sing to the glory of your name:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory, hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed are you, O God, and blessed is your Son, Jesus Christ.  You sent Jesus, taking on our human nature, to live among us in truth and grace.  In his life – as he share our joys and sorrows, healed and taught, worked miracles and reconciled sinners, – he showed forth your love and grace.  Through his death and resurrection, he proclaimed victory over death, and reconciled us to you for eternity.  Remembering all that you have done, we take from your creation this bread and this wine, and joyfully offer these gifts to you:

We praise you, we bless you, we give thanks to you, and we pray to you, Lord our God.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless, may be the communion of the body and the blood of Christ.  Send us out into the world in the power of the Spirit, that we may live for others as Christ lived for us.  By your Spirit, draw us together into the one body of Christ, the church, to be a witness to your work in the world.  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Gracious God, you have created all that is for our provision, that we might have all we need and more.  You have entrusted us with the responsibilities of caring for your creation and each other.

Bless these gifts, that through your grace, there might be enough for all.  Bless our lives, that we might be your servants in this time and place, reaching out to those who are suffering, so that your love might be known.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 41:1-3

How blessed is the one who treats the poor properly!
When trouble comes, the Lord delivers them.
2 May the Lord protect them and save their life!
May they be blessed in the land!
Do not turn them over to his enemies!
3 The Lord supports them on their sickbed;
you completely heal them from their illness.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Pick up a coin and consider its value.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 1.

Select a piece of literature on how to aid the poor, either through Kiva or Heifer. Place your coin upright in the sand as a commitment not just to read the information contained therein, but to take action concerning what you read.

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of offering.

 

 

 

Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son: Narrative Lectionary Lenten Links of Prayer

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Invitation to be Found by Mike Williams

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mike Williams) appreciated.

Luke 15:1-32 and Psalm 119:167-176 or Psalm 119:176

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 119:157-176)

The sum of God’s word is truth. The righteous ordinances of our God endure forever.

We rejoice in God’s word like those who find great spoil                                                                               

We come together today to praise God and to find the peace granted to those who love God’s law.                                                                                                                                       

We hope for the Lord’s salvation and love the Lord’s decrees.                                                                                                     

In this time of worship let our supplication come before our Lord, who gives understanding from God’s word.                                                                                                           

Let our lips pour forth praise and let us sing of God’s promise.

Let us live to praise our God and let God’s ordinances help us in our worship.                                           

For we have gone astray like lost sheep, but the Lord has sought us out, and sent us God’s Son so that we might once more remember God’s commandments.

Prayer of Invocation

Holy Father of prodigal children everywhere, as we come into your presence today, we praise you for the assurance of your love. We thank you for gift of your Son who comes to us with stories of redemption and forgiveness. In this time of worship, pour out your Spirit upon us, that we may hear the promise of your grace. Fill us with compassion for your world. Help us to celebrate with those who come to life by finding you. Amen

Call to Confession

No matter how familiar we are with them, the stories of Jesus continually catch us off guard. Whether we think of ourselves as righteous, dutiful children, or as sheep who have gone astray, Christ reminds us of our continuous need for him. Let us now acknowledge our shortcomings, and remind ourselves of God’s grace, by praying together the prayer of confession…

Prayer of Confession

Great Shepherd, we come to you today recognizing that, like lost sheep, we have gone astray. You have given us your word and called us to live by your commandments. Yet, seeking greener pastures, we have squandered the riches you have given us and lived lives focused on ourselves. We have also failed to see the needs of others and refused to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Remind us, O God, of the gift of your Son. Empower us with your grace, and call us to rejoice as sheep who have been returned to your fold. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Sisters and brothers, the promise of Gospel is that we have a shepherd who will never stop looking for us. Christ comes to us and brings us home once more, leading us into the presence of the God who loves us. Jesus assures us that grace is real. Indeed, he tells us “there is joy in the presence of God over one sinner who repents.” Know that you are forgiven and be at peace.

Passing of the Peace

The father of the prodigal son called everyone together to celebrate the return of the child he thought he had lost. In the same way, let us celebrate together the forgiveness we have received through the passing of the peace.

Communion Prayer:

Gracious God, like lost sheep we wander far from your love. We chase after things that do not satisfy and end up far from where you would have us be. We find ourselves spiritually dying from hunger. In your mercy, O God, you have not abandoned us to our own wills. Although we are not worthy to stand before you, you have sent your Son, the good shepherd, to pursue us and call us back to the fold. In this moment we ask you to pour out your Holy Spirit on these elements. Make this sacrament a foretaste of your heavenly kingdom where there is bread enough to spare. You are always with us and have given us everything. Let us now celebrate with you and all the angels of heaven as repentant sinners who once were lost, but now are found. This we ask, trusting in your precious name, Amen.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication

Generous and giving God, you have reminded us of your prodigal love. You have bestowed upon us blessings beyond measure. We praise you for your kindness and for the chance to return a portion of that back into your service. Take what we have given and let it be a symbol of the compassion that you have for your world. Use it to fill those who have little, and guide those who are lost. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these tithes and offerings, so that your grace might be known throughout the world. Amen.

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 119:167-176

167 I keep your rules;
I love them greatly.
168 I keep your precepts and rules,
for you are aware of everything I do.
169 Listen to my cry for help, O Lord!
Give me insight by your word!
170 Listen to my appeal for mercy!
Deliver me, as you promised.
171 May praise flow freely from my lips,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 May my tongue sing about your instructions,
for all your commands are just.
173 May your hand help me,
for I choose to obey your precepts.
174 I long for your deliverance, O Lord;
I find delight in your law.
175 May I live and praise you!
May your regulations help me!
176 I have wandered off like a lost sheep.
Come looking for your servant,
for I do not forget your commands.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Place a cup in the sand.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 171.

Pour water from the pitcher into the cup as you say (aloud or silently) “May praise flow freely from my lips.” Just as freely flowing water quickly fills the cup, so freely flowing praise can quickly fill our lives.

Read the psalm a third time as a song of praise.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Lament Over Jerusalem: Narrative Lectionary Lent Links of Prayer

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Invitation to Gather by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Courtney D. Arntzen) appreciated.

Luke 9:1-9, 31-35 and Psalm 122 or Psalm 122:1

Call to Worship

Voice 1: Come

Voice 2: Come stay

Voice 1: Come stay near

Voice 2: Come stay near me

Voice 1: My wings

Voice 2: My wings are broad

Voice 1: My wings are broad enough to keep you

Voice 2: Gather here.

Voice 1: Gather and hear.

Voice 2: There is room for you.

Voice 1: Just as you are

Voice 2: Gather and hear.

Voice 1: Gather here.

Call to Confession
The Pharisees come warning Jesus, “Get out of here! Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus responds, “Not today!  Today I have lives to heal and people to release.  Today I will tell people again that I am the lifesaver.”  Let us pray:

Prayer of Confession                                                                                                                  

Faithful God, You presented the law to release us from slavery,

and we turn it into a rulebook dictating who is in and who is out.

You provide the prophets with messages of life for all

and we mock their words, abusing their message for our benefit.

Through Jesus you fulfill the release from capture and we choose enslavement. Through Jesus you fulfill the message of life for all and we abuse the message. Over and over we ignore the call to pay attention.(Wake us up!) Over and over again you call us to yourself, longing to gather us, protect us, and save us by your life. (Wake us up!) You call us to life, and we wander aimlessly in the path of death. (Wake us up!) Hear us now as we confess our wandering ways (Silent Confession)…Amen

Assurance of Pardon

Jesus says, unless you turn to me, you will die.  He then describes himself as a sacrificial hen that longs to protect her chicks from the sly fox.

This is the good news: Jesus wings are always spread

There is room, enough room

For you.

For you all.

Turn toward Jesus, nestle under the wings of Jesus, receive the grace and peace that comes alone from him.  In the safety of Jesus’ embrace, let us be sent out to share the news that there is room enough for all.

Offertory Prayer/Prayer of Dedication                                                                        

Receive these offerings as an expression of our desire to place our lives again in your hands.  Multiply these gifts for the expansion of your life saving message to be shared through this community faith, both here and far beyond.  In Jesus name and in expectation of his return, we pray.  Amen

Communion Prayer                                                                                                         

Gracious God, we praise you for your handiwork in creation, the wonders of the mighty mountains and the stillness of the silent snowfall.  We praise you for wooing us into your fold through the life-work and life-saving ministry of Jesus.  We are reminded that a mother hen may extend her wings to hold and protect her young.  On the cross we remember Jesus’ arms extended, that we might come to him as we come to this table and receive all that is offered.  You held nothing back on our behalf, may we hold nothing back as we come.  Let us bring our full selves to the table where we receive once again your fullness.             

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 122

1 I was glad because they said to me,
“We will go to the Lord’s temple.”
2 Our feet are standing
inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem – built as a city bound firmly together.
4 The tribes go up there,
the tribes of the Lord,
where it is required that Israel
give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 Indeed, the leaders sit there on thrones and make legal decisions,
on the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love her prosper!
7 May there be peace inside your defenses,
and prosperity inside your fortresses!
8 For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors
I will say, “May there be peace in you!”
9 For the sake of the temple of the Lord our God
I will pray for you to prosper.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Pick up several sticks (at least 3) and hold them.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 3.

Using a piece of twine, tie your sticks so that they are “bound firmly together” Place your bound sticks upright in the sand. Remember that God has called the church to be bound together, and that we are the temple of the Lord

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.                                                                                                                                                                          

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Links of Prayer: Narrative Lectionary for Lent

Links of Prayer Resources for Lent.
A broad number of prayers from a variety of pastors/denominations. All variations of theology and kinds of prayers were accepted to show the vast richness of God’s work.
 These prayers are meant for personal spiritual practice or for congregations who follow the narrative lectionary.
They include a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Communion Prayer, Prayer of Dedication/Offering and Some are Paired Psalm-Prayer Station Guide by Rev. Shea Zellweger
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer written by XXX) appreciated.
March 1st Ash Wednesday by Rev. Mary Austin
March 5th The Good Samaritan by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis
March 12th The Lament Over Jerusalem by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
March 19th Lost Coin, Lost Sheep, Lost Son by Rev. Mike Williams
March 26th Rich Man and Lazarus by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown
Apr 2nd Zacchaeus by Rev. Katy Stenta
Apr 11th Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday by Rev. Jeanne Gay
Apr 13th Last Supper by Rev. Amy Fetterman
Apr 14th Crucifixion by Rev Lee Ann Higgins
      Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W
Apr 16th Resurrection/Easter by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

The Good Samaritan: Narrative Lectionary Lent Prayers

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Invitation to Community by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis) appreciated.

Luke 10:25-42 and Psalm 15 or Psalm 15:1

Call to Worship

Good and merciful God, you call us to gather along the road we know as community,

With our neighbors all around, speak to us in these complicated times.

We are people of the covenant, called to care for one another without exception.

Within and beyond our walls, our neighbors are struggling.  Within and beyond these walls, we may be the one who is struggling.

Just as Jesus lived a commitment of coming near, abide in with and through us. Send us. Encourage us to come near in your name.

We are ready to open our hearts to receive new strength and to open our lives to new understanding.  Gather us near.

Invocation

Holy God, as we come together in this house of prayer, we open ourselves to your spirit. Who is our neighbor and who was this Samaritan called good?  Bring fresh understanding to why he alone drew near to danger, unafraid, giving compassion, and bringing hope. Guide us in being open to helping the stranger, the outcast, and the one without community.   Amen.

Call to Confession   

God calls us to relationships of trust and hope. As your children we are drawn to the good and the holy. We come now to confess that we sometimes have too narrow a view of what is good, missing the holy even when we are in its midst.

Prayer of Confession

God we pray, inspire courage and compassion and open us beyond the usual boundaries that come with fear and privilege.  We name that we have failed to see our neighbors unless it is convenient and scheduled.  We know that the Good Samaritan comes near as one who knows the Kin(g)dom is near. And the Kin(g)dom of God comes near when we do the same. But Creator God, coming near is not easy. It’s easier to withdraw and to hide in our homes. The division that plagues our nation will require a new kind of coming together in understanding and love.  Forgive our hesitation and make bold our faith. Make bold our witness. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon                

Be at peace as the people of God who daily find strength in hope. Be at peace knowing that God draws near; that God is omnipresent and walking with us in our struggle to follow boldly.  May we be bold ambassadors of courage and Christ.

Communion Prayer

From these simple gifts of grape and grain, you have consecrated us as your children, called and sent to share your extravagant love with others.  Open our eyes that we might see you near. Open our lives that we might be agents of hope and love for our world. When we forget our holy calling, speak anew to our hearts and draw us back.  This is our prayer in the name of all that is holy. Amen.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication                                                                                                       Gathered we have given in your name– blessed to be a blessing.  Generous God, bless and consecrate these gifts and use them to bring hope and healing to our community and beyond.  Enliven us to share even ourselves with the world you love. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

God of love, give us a deep love for you, so that we can see the world as you see it, feel the compassion you feel, and be a people whose lives mediate your love to others. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw. Grant us the insight to see the need in others, the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for all those people, who in many and various ways, have been stripped, beaten and left for dead. We pray for children who are growing up in the most awful of circumstances, especially for those starved of love or food, shelter or security. May they receive the future you have planned for them.  God in your mercy.  Hear our prayer                                                                                          

We pray for those we might cross the road to avoid, those who have been excluded socially because of their race, financial status, or history. May the dignity that is theirs be restored to them.  God in your mercy. Hear our prayer                                                                                  

God give us a deep love for you, that we might see your love at work in this world, and that we might go and do likewise. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer    

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger
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Psalm 15

1 Lord, who may be a guest in your home?

Who may live on your holy hill?

2 Whoever lives a blameless life,

does what is right,

and speaks honestly.

3 They do not slander,

or do harm to others,

or insult their neighbor.

4 They despise a reprobate,

but honor the Lord’s loyal followers.

They make firm commitments and do not renege on their promise.

5 They do not charge interest when they lends their money.

They do not take bribes to testify against the innocent.

The one who lives like this will never be upended.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Using one of the tools in the sandbox, or your own hands, create a shape in the sand which signifies the Lord’s home.

Read the psalm a second time, this time looking for a single phrase which speaks especially to you.

Select a rock. Allow the rock to represent you. Hold it in your hand as you contemplate the phrase you found.

Place the rock inside the Lord’s home. God has welcomed you home.

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

                               

Narrative Lectionary: Ash Wednesday Links of Prayer

Ash Wednesday

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“Invitation to Lent” Author Rev. Mary Austin

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mary Austin) appreciated.

Luke 9:51-62 and Psalm 5:7-8 or Psalm 5:8

Call to Worship
We are dust and ashes,
bone and breath,
full of frailty and limitation.
Lent calls us into reflection and repentance,
drawing closer to God. 
Lent calls us to see ourselves as dust and ash,
alive only with God’s breath.
Lent invites us to be pilgrims,
moving with Jesus toward the truth. 
In Lent, we travel with Jesus,
moving toward an end and a beginning.
Let us worship the God of glory,
with all that is within us.  
 
 
Call to Confession
Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Pretending to be something we are not takes a toll on our spirits.  The illusion of perfection makes us weary.  Lent invites us into a place of freedom.  Let us speak the truth about ourselves, and know the truth about God.Trusting in God’s abundant, living mercy, let us pray. (time for silent reflection)…Amen 
 
Prayer of Confession
God who breathes life into dust,
and fills ash with glory,
we come to you knowing that we are broken,
not by your doing,
but by our own. 
Forgive us for chasing shiny gods,
instead of turning to you.
Forgive us for trusting our own abilities
more than your goodness.
Forgive us for seeing other people as stepping stones,
instead of as your beloved ones. 
Breathe life into our dust again, we pray,
and claim us once more as your own. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen. 
 
Assurance of Grace/Pardon
Who are we, that God is mindful of us?  God’s fingers have shaped us, and God’s breath gives us life.  God’s abundant mercy follows us with each step.  In the life of Jesus Christ, we see a new way to live.  In following him, our lives are redeemed.  Through Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven.  Be at peace in God’s grace. 
 
 
Invitation to Communion
My friends, dust and ash we are, and also God’s beloved people.  Jesus, who knows both death and resurrection, invites us now to the table.  Here, even on this day, we see a glimpse of God’s table.  At the table of God, there is hunger is no more, and all of God’s people feast together.  There death is no more, and we see our beloved ones and God’s people of all the ages.  There tears are no more, and we rejoice in the presence of God’s living grace. 
 
In the name of Jesus our host, Jesus whom we follow into Lent, Jesus who gives us living bread, we are all invited to come and share in the feast. 
 
 
Prayer after Communion
Holy God,
with the taste of ash still in our mouths,
you have fed us with the bread of heaven
and the cup of new beginnings.
Lead us now, we pray,
into a Lent of somber reflection
and committed service,
spreading the taste of your love to all people.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.  
 
 
Offering Prayer / Prayer of Dedication
Merciful God,
our gifts are as limited as our lives,
but we offer them to you with gratitude,
knowing that they really are your gifts,
loaned to us.
We offer them with praise,
that you invite us to share in your work. 
We offer them with hope,
knowing that you can transform them
into instruments of love and justice.
In Jesus name, Amen.

A Resource:Narrative Lectionary Advent Prayers

Many Thanks to those who have pitched in to write prayers. Page will be edited as more prayers come in.

These are resources, seeds and jumping off points. Hopeful they are useful!

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Advent 1 Nov 27 Daniel 6:6-27 Daniel in the Lions’ Den Luke 23:1-5

Author: Pastor Andrea Allen Advent theme is “God Makes a New Home in Us.”

Advent Wreath: Psalm 62: Hope

v. 5-8 For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him. 
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 
7 On God rests my deliverance and my honour;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.                                                                                               8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

Call to Worship: (Based on lyrics from hymn “O radiant Christ, incarnate Word” by Ruth Duck 1991 found in Voices United #84)

One: Come, let us prepare ourselves this Advent, our faith and hope renew.

All: God, come, lead the peoples to your peace.

One: We gather for a time of hope found in waiting and preparing for the light to be born within us again.

All: God, come, shine upon our shadowed world.

One: We come into this time to pause, to pray, and to share in our worship.

All: God, come, make your home within our hearts.

Gathering Prayer Gracious God, We give you thanks for today and for the opportunity to prepare and celebrate this Advent season. Be with us as we worship you, reminding us that you are our living God, and that your love endure for ever. Guide us to hear your word to each of us today and be with us as we seek to live out your call. In the name of Jesus the Christ, in whom we await, Amen.

Call to Confession O Holy God Today we come to you asking for your forgiveness for those times when we have not left room for you to build a home within our hearts and our lives; those times when we have pushed you out of our hearts and lives. Advent is a busy time in our world when so many activities, parties, and events pull us away from you, forgive us when we leave you to the last of our lists and help us to put you first in our lives. Forgive us when we forget the importance of the season of advent, when we forget to cherish the time of waiting and preparing, and so we push along with the world to celebrate Christmas before it is time. Daniel prayed to you in a time when doing so was dangerous. He trusted in you and because of that you kept him safe. Forgive us when we do not trust in you but rather put our trust in the world and turn away from you. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray, Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Today and every day, God loves us, forgives us, and sets us free. Today and every day we remember that our living God endures forever. God’s kingdom will never be destroyed and we will always have a place in God’s kingdom. Amen.

Communion Prayer (TBD)

Offertory Prayer O living God, we thank you for your constant presence in our lives and in response to the constant blessings you give, we offer you our gifts today. Accept our offerings of time, talents, and treasures that they may further your work here on Earth so that one day all will truly know your Kingdom here on Earth. Amen.

Advent 2 Dec 4th Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Shea Zellweger

Advent Psalm: Peace Psalm 2

v. 6-8  There are many who say, ‘O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!’ 
7 You have put gladness in my heart
more than when their grain and wine abound.                                                                            8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

Leaders: Hear our fervent prayer, oh God.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leader 1: Our old men have visions of a time when all will be content, for all will have enough, no longer driven to spend and consume.

Leader 2: Our young women dream of nations who wage peace and not war.

People: Listen to our plea, and grant us your peace.

Leaders: We light the second candle, a blue candle, which carries the glow of peace. In the midst of turmoil, its steady glow reminds us that when all seems bleak, even then there is peace to be had.

People: Come, o Prince of Peace, Come.

Song of Response

O Come, O Come, O Adonai, who came to all on Sinai high.

And from its peak a single law, proclaimed in majesty and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

Call To Worship

One: Sing Praises to God, all you who dwell on Earth!

Many: We sing our praise, echoing the joyous strains of the angels.

One: God gives strength to us, the people of God.

Many: God blesses us with peace.

One: In peace, let us sing praises to God.

Many: In peace, let us worship!

Prayer of Confession

One: We confess our sins before God and one another,

[Pause for silent confession]

God, whose peace surpasses all understanding, we do not always seek peace.

Many: We sow the seeds of strife and division.

One: Nation wars against nation, and our people fight amongst themselves.

Many: Forgive us, o Lord, for we know not what we do.

Assurance of Pardon

One: Our God is a merciful God. Our conflicts have already been forgiven. We receive God’s forgiveness together as we follow the path of peace laid before us.

Many: Thanks be to God

Reading: Joel 2:12-13, 28-29

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We praise and thank you, God, for the visions and dreams you have poured out on your people. As we await your coming, may we prophesy with boldness your lasting call to walk the path of peace together.

Offering Dedication Prayer

Here are our gifts, Lord – the work of our hands. The sweat of our brows. The first fruits of our harvest. We dedicate them to your service. May they help to spread your reign of peace throughout the Earth. Amen.

Advent 3 Dec 11 Isaiah 61:1-11 and Luke 4:16-21

Author: Pastor Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Joy Psalm 98

v. 7-9 7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
   the world and those who live in it. 
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
   let the hills sing together for joy 
9 at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming
   to judge the earth.

Call to Worship

God you send the Holy Spirit, clothing us in the good news

You bind up the broken-hearted and comfort those who mourn

We are planted  in God, who loves justice.

Therefore we will rejoice in the Lord! Let us exult the Lord with our entire being!

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that joy is difficult. We would rather smile or be nice, than find the joy in our lives. We are too busy, too worried or too polite to embrace the God who cares for the lost, the poor and the forgotten. We long for a connection to this God who knows where to plant us and how to tend to us. Forgive us we pray and teach of the joy of the Lord who repairs the brokenness of the world. 

Assurance of Pardon: The Spirit of the Lord comes upon us, clothing us in salvation. Hear the Good news of the Lord, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Communion: Mighty God, you gave us life, blowing your Holy breath into our lungs. Walking with us through time, you saw that we could only understand your law as a burden. Thus you gave us your very self, so we might feel your joy in the work of love and care, in your son Jesus Christ. Jesus who was born among us, broke bread together with us and died for us. Upon Jesus’s resurrection, all sin became forgiven. It is from this God we receive the invitation to the table today….

Prayer of Dedication: Lord, let us give with joy all that we have to you, so that we might truly build the kingdom of God together.

 

 

 

 Advent 4 Dec 18th Luke 1:26-49 and Psalm 113

Author: Pastor (Dr.) Barb Hedges-Goettl

Advent Candle: Joy Psalm 84

v. 8-108 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
   for he will speak peace to his people,
   to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.* 
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.                                                                                              10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
   righteousness and peace will kiss each other. 

One: Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!

Many:  Just to speak his name is praise!

One: Just to remember God is a blessing—

Many:  now and tomorrow and always.

One: From east to west,

Many:  from dawn to dusk,

All:  keep lifting all your praises to God!

Call to Worship B Psalm 113 NIV

One: Who is like the Lord our God,

Many: the One who sits enthroned on high?

One: Who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?

Many: God raises the poor from the dust

One: God lifts the needy from the ash heap.)
Many: God seats them with princes,
One: with the princes of his people.

All: Praise the Lord.

Alternative Call to Worship (Luke 1)

One: The Lord is with you.

Many: What kind of greeting is this?

One: Do not be afraid; you have found favor with God.

You are caught up in service to the Kingdom of God.

Many: How can this be?

One: The Holy Spirit will come upon you

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you

for with God nothing is impossible.

All: We are servants of the Lord. 

May God’s word to us be fulfilled. 

Prayer of Confession:

God, we confess that sometimes our plans don’t allow for your plan.                                                                                        We rely only on ourselves, not on you and on one another.

Creator, Spirit, and Lord, forgive us when we do not consult you.

Break through to us with your Advent, your coming, your calling

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness:

One: God looks with favor on the lowliness of God’s servants.                                                  The Mighty One has done great things and holy is his name.                                                                               The Son of the Most High was given the throne of David.                                                             He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of this kingdom there will be no end.             Thanks be to God for the Good News:

All: In Christ Jesus we have eternal and abundant life.

Prayer of Great Thanksgiving/Communion Prayer

We give you thanks, Lord God on high.                                                                                    You are high above all nations.                                                                                                  Your glory is above the heavens.                                                                                               From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise your name.                                        We thank you for the gift of Jesus Christ, your son and son of Mary.                      Although his greatness overwhelms us, he came to dwell among us.                           You gave to him the throne of his ancestor David, yet he reigns now and he will reign forever. Of his kingdom there will be no end.                                                                          We magnify you, Lord. We rejoice in you, our Savior.                                                           For you have looked with favor on our lowliness, doing great things for us.  Make us a part of your great work.                                                                                                                     As you give the barren one joy and a home, give us joy and a place to be at home.          As Christ Jesus heals and helps those in need, let us lift the needy from the ash heap.   As Christ Jesus the King sits with sinners, may all be welcome at this feast.                   As you raised up Christ Jesus from the cross, let us raise the poor from the dust.      For with you, nothing is impossible.                                                                                             As your Spirit came upon Mary and your power rested on her, shed your Spirit and your power this day.                                                                                                                    Come upon these gifts of bread and cup, that they may be for us the body and blood of Christ Jesus. Embolden us to be the body of Christ Jesus and carry Christ into the world, transforming it by transforming us.

Offering

O God, like Mary, we belong to you, body and soul. Like Elizabeth, when we meet you, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and leap for joy. How happy we are when we believe in you, for it is then that our gifts, our lives, and our selves find their fulfillment.

 Christmas Dec 25th Luke 2:8-20 and Psalm 123:1-2

Author: Katy Stenta

Advent Candle Psalm 68

v. 19-20 19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation.
Selah 
20 Our God is a God of salvation,
and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.

Call to Worship

Come to Bethlehem and let us see the one whom angels sing!

Let us sing with the angels: Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill to all!

Come, let us see God!

Come Let us see the Christ child!

Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess it is hard to approach you. It is hard to see the Christ child. Forgive us and help us to see you, to know you and to love you we pray.

Assurance of Forgiveness: Christ has come, love incarnate, salvation of the world! Know the Good news, Jesus Christ was born today, and it is in him we are each, and every one of us, forgiven. Thanks be to God.

Prayer of Thanksgiving: Jesus, you are here with us today. Before the world even began, God knows us and loved us into being. Then God translated Godself into human form–so we might see and taste salvation in the feast of love. Providing to us the good news in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Let us give thanks to the God who created us, became human with us, and died to save us all. Let us continue to give God praise….

Offering Prayer: Light of the world, you have given us your only son. May we offer our gifts in return from the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

#Confession #lent the #bible is clear

Prayer of Confession:

Embodier of God’s Love, teach us your love. This week our confession is that we are not willing to make the sacrifice. We are more concerned about who is a part of the kingdom, instead of loving those who might not be. We ask, what must I do? Yet the Bible is clear. When people in the Bible said Moabites were bad (Deut. 23), then Ruth the Moabite came to love Naomi in heroic ways. When the people of the Bible proclaimed that those from Uz were evil (Jer. 25), Job from Uz was uplifted as the the most blameless man on earth. When God’s people hated Samaritans, Jesus told a Samaritan who was the only one to love an injured neighbor. When foreigners and eunuchs were banned (Deut 23), an African Eunuch is prompted by the Holy Spirit to be baptized into the church. (Acts 8). When the story begins with prejudice and fear, the Spirit of God moves them to be stories of God’s openness, welcome, inclusion and affirmation. We confess that often time our story is one of worry and doubt, about what we can do, about what others can do to us. Turn our story into God’s story, the story of love. We confess ourselves and pray that we are changed here and now. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Bibleisclear.jpg

#rejectedsermontitles #wrongquestionMoses

Moses Asks: Who am I to do all this

God says: I am with you, You are on Holy Ground.

Because God makes Holy Ground to be where God and humanity meet. That is what makes things Holy.

Moses: Who are you then?

God: I am who I am<–God the one and only, often imitated, never duplicated……the living God

Moses: You don’t have a name?

God: I am the God of all things, I don’t need one name, you can name me

Mark 12:26-27a
26And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”? 27He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.’

Exodus 1:8-14, 3:1-15
8 Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. 9He said to his people, ‘Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. 10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.’ 11Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labour. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. 12But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. 13The Egyptians became ruthless in imposing tasks on the Israelites, 14and made their lives bitter with hard service in mortar and brick and in every kind of field labour. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.
3Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. 3Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ 4When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ 5Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ 6He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, 8and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. 10So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’ 11But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ 12He said, ‘I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.’
13 But Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your ancestors has sent me to you”, and they ask me, “What is his name?” what shall I say to them?’ 14God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’* He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you.” ’ 15God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, “The Lord,* the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you”:

God, Stooping, Kneeling and Praise Ps 113 Narrative Lectionary

One of the most common themes in the Bible is the proclamation that EVERY knee shall bow to Jesus Christ. I like this because I feel it contains within it the POSSIBILITY for universal salvation. This is a tricky thing, because if Jesus is our only salvation, then its difficult then to go and state that Every knee shall bow to God. However, this is my faith in God’s everlasting love and salvation, and what is great about this proclaimation is that its EVERYWHERE in the bible from Isaiah 45:23 to Romans 14:11 to Phil 2:10-11

5Let the same mind be in you that was* in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8   he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.


9 Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

During my oral examination for ordination, I got asked about this phrase in my statement of faith, for I stated that I whole heartedly believed that someday every knee shall bow to Christ, every tongue confess him Lord.

I got asked if I was a universalist (that means that everyone will be saved no matter what which makes religion and even the need to do good irrelevant to some people), and I cheekily answered that the Bible says this to be true in both the New and Old Testament. I had no clue as to how God will put this mighty and impossible work into being, but I believed that the Bible was telling the truth, and if you viewed that verse to be universalist than Jesus and the prophets must have been universalists. This got me a laugh.

So, when I was looking at Psalm 113, a Psalm that names God and praises God as the one who stoops, a thought occurred to me….

When if at the end of the world, every knee shall bow, because that is the position Christ will be in? Christ who emptied himself, Christ who humbled (knelt/stooped) to be on earth

What if Christ comes, as always, to serve the world the actual physical position of servanthood, stooping and crouching to serve, and what if we all get on our knees to serve with her?

Maybe that is why it is couched with all the words about NOT judging each other in the New Testament, something that would definitely would have been better understood after Christ’s physical incarnation than before…..

Is it so hard to believe that Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess to Christ not because of the mighty thunder and lightening of the end of the world, but because God is serving and listens to what it is we have to say and invites us to assume the same position? We are conquered by God’s graciousness and are finally able to embody it…

Psalm 113


1 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.


2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.


5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who stoops to look
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

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