For Sunday February 28, 2016
Year C, Third Sunday in Lent
Third Sunday in Lent :: Purple ::
Call to Worship (Responsive)
Adapted from Psalm 63
L: O God, our God, our souls seek you;
P: Our flesh faints for you.
L: As we look upon you in the Sanctuary;
P: Let us behold your power and your glory.
L: Because your steadfast love is better than life,
P: Our lips will praise you.
L: So we will bless you as long as we live;
P: And will lift up our hands and call upon your name.
Gather us in to your presence O God. Guide our hearts and nurture our minds. As we come together to worship, we coming knowing our need to feel your presence. Be with us and help us, that our words, our thoughts, and our deeds are acceptable in your sight.
Jesus told a parable about a man with a fig tree in his vineyard. Each time the man came looking for fruit, it bore none. In his frustration, the man told the gardener to cut the tree down. Yet the gardener pled for one more year to allow the fig tree to bear fruit. He watered, fertilized and nurtured the tree during that year. Each year as a church, we encounter people that are not bearing fruit for God, but we do not cut them off or exclude them. We seek to nurture them and help them to grow spiritually. These ministries take a lot of resources, and rarely bear fruit quickly. But when they do bear fruit, and someone falls in love with serving the Lord, giving their life in genuine sacrifice, it makes it all worthwhile. We will now receive the tithes and offerings which make nurturing ministries possible.
Guide us O God. Lead us in your righteousness and hope. We bring these tithes and offerings, hoping to change lives, ushering in a love of your reign on earth. Help us to be a part of the solution. Use these gifts to reach new souls, for we offer them and this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The prophet Isaiah tells us:
Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good.
Do you hear communion? I do. Isaiah is speaking an Oracle which refers shortly to God making “an everlasting covenant.” We know what covenant that is, for we have the luxury of looking back at the Oracle through the shadow of the cross and the promise Jesus made when he first began this meal of remembrance. Come and eat what is good. Come and have wine without price. Come.
All material copyright 2016 The Jubilee Fund, Inc., and appears on this site via a partnership agreement with the Center for Faith and Giving. Permission granted to reproduce and use any of the above for Churches and Congregations to the glory of God without requirement of compensation or notification.
Scripture Quotations from the New Revised Standard Version. Online Scripture links a service of the Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library, of Vanderbilt