March 10, 2019
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
First Sunday of Lent
Call to Worship (from Luke 4)
One: Come! Let us worship the Lord our God,
Many: beginning this forty day journey of Life.
One: As Jesus wrestled with temptation, he fasted and prayed.
Many: As we begin this season of Lent,
we pray for new passion in our faith.
One: Through all the dangers, toils and snares,
Many: let us worship God today and throughout these forty days.
God, our refuge and our strength, we gather today to begin once more a journey of faith. Even knowing it will take us to the depths of betrayal, desertion and death, we’ve come to take these first steps together. With the body memory of ash on us, we double down into our desire to be made one in Jesus Christ. So walk with us and do not desert us, for you are the Holy One whom we trust. AMEN
Moment for Stewardship
There’s something empowering about beginning a new period of life. School semesters launch with such possibility! New Year’s day so often dawns with intentionality for a positive start, with white pages before us on the calendar. And Lent begins with an encouragement for us to fast, pray and share alms.
How are you stepping into this season? Here, we ___________________ (what is it your congregation is doing? What emphasis do you have? What project or pattern are you asking people to take up? Name that).
Each Sunday, we’ll gather to give a nod to the progress we’ve made, and repent for the ways we’ve fallen behind. Each Sunday, we’ll begin anew, inviting participation for one day at a time, one week at a time…for this season of Lenten life.
This is our time to give what we’ve decided to share. With joy-full hearts, let us offer our gifts to God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Generous God, you reach out to all – doubting and faith-filled, strong and weary, articulate and stammering. We want to show with our lives what we believe in our hearts.
As we offer you these gifts, symbols of our whole lives, we thank you for modeling generosity! Receive this offering and receive us once more as your beloved ones, for we believe with our hearts,
confess with our mouths,
and rejoice as we grasp your Good News:
you keep on saving us for abundant life in you!
In stammering yet strong gratitude, we pray, AMEN
Invitation to Communion
Luke reports when Jesus had fasted for forty days, he was famished. Most of us know we’ve thought “I’m famished!” when we’ve not eaten for a day, or for several days. And most of us have experienced the “hangry” response of a personality change when we’re really hungry.
Jesus, even after a lengthy fast, faced deep temptation and turned aside from the option of turning stones into bread.
Our temptation might be to take this meal for granted, for we have opportunity to come to this table every Sunday. Without fail, bread is broken and the wine (juice) is poured, that we might feast on these symbols of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
Before we taste the bread or tip the thimbleful of juice to our lips, think about the privilege it is to have these gifts here, prepared, abundant. Consider what it would mean to come to this table truly hungry. Next Sunday, I invite you to fast (if you are able). From Saturday evening until church time, do not eat or drink anything until you take communion.
And remember! Hangry, tempted, even faced with huge challenges, you can count on Jesus to meet you at the table.
Come, then, and receive these gifts!