March 1, 2020

March 1, 2020
Lent 1

Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

Psalm 32

Romans 5:12-19

Matthew 4:1-11

Call to Worship 

One: As darkness gives way to light

and winter sleep to fresh awakenings,

Many:  we come today to be reminded of God’s love for us. 

One:  Like green shoots of renewed life, stirring beneath the soil,

Many:  we welcome a wake-up call; God’s word in our lives.

One:  In these 40 days of reflection and repentance,

Many:  we re-claim our identity and our security, as children of God.

 (adapted from Gill Le Fevre,

Opening Prayer  (from Psalm 32)

Gracious God,
We come together this morning, seeking to be your faithful daughters and sons.  Be our hiding place, preserving us from trouble.  Help us be glad in you, and rejoice, shouting for joy as you instruct us and teach us the ways we should go.  Surround us with your steadfast love, both today and throughout this Lenten season, AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (from Matthew 4:1-11)

In the story of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, we understand Jesus has fasted 40 days and 40 nights.  That connects to our Lenten season, in which some have decided to fast (some folks plan a fast from eating out, drinking pop or alcohol, swearing, using social media, consuming desserts…)

For others, this season is not so much a fasting FROM as it is a giving TO.  Jesus was able to respond to the three temptations presented to him:
hungry, he refused to use his power to turn rocks into bread
in relationship to God, he refused to test God
committed to worship only God, he refused the gift of power and authority.
In all three situations, Jesus gave himself to serving God, undeterred by the splendor offered by the tempter.

Week by week, we have the opportunity to declare by our actions that we intend to give TO God.
The temptation might be to hold back our financial offering
in order to have an easier time financing our life.
We may be tempted to preserve our time for pleasure rather than
sharing in worship or service as people of faith.
Other people, places or possibilities might tempt us to make them
first in our lives rather than lifting God to primacy.
But today, we can model our response on Jesus’ response:
with our finances, our time and our recognition of God as primary,
we face down the tempter, and declare our identity.
We will worship the Lord our God and serve only THIS God!

Let’s share our morning offering and our mental and spiritual identity.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

True God, we turn to you this morning in gratitude for the opportunity to bring our gifts and declare our intention to honor you.  Please receive this offering.  Help us use it completely to signal our deep desire to be undistracted by tempting opportunities for power, position or authority.

Invitation to Communion 

This season of Lent opens the way for disciples of Jesus to be inspired once more by his life, and transformed once again by his willingness to die.

In these 40 days, we’ll be invited to share each week in remembrance of Jesus.  Here, pretense may be pushed aside.  Here, profound love professes itself in power.  Here, we’re invited to the table to find our true food through Jesus Christ.

On the night he was betrayed, we remember he took bread, blessed and broke it before offering it to his followers as a symbol of the brokenness he would face on the cross.  May we again receive this bread and drink this cup, as gifts of God for the people of God, that we might be strengthened to resist worship of empty power and claim clear worship of the one true God.

~ inspired from Prayers for an Inclusive Church 2009,