February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Lent I

Genesis 9:8-17

Psalm 25:1-10

!1 Peter 3:18-22

Mark 1:9-15

For the 6 Sundays of Lent (including Palm Sunday), the call to worship will be offered in 1 voice.  Also, each worship leader will be invited to light 1 additional candle each Sunday (so ending with 6 lit candles for March 28).  These lit candles might be the core of a Service of the Shadows for Maundy Thursday (or Good Friday), or could be transformed into part of kindling the first light for a Paschal Vigil or sunrise Easter celebration.

If you would like a Lenten meditative opportunity, consider using one of these images to “pray in color”:  https://prayingincolor.com/tag/lent
Thanks to Sybil Macbeth for offering these without cost!  

Or http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/indexoth.php?place=archives/Lent/LentCal1994.php

   from Alternatives, now known as Simple Living Works.

Call to Worship  

Today as so many are still keeping distanced and others are staying home, we bring ourselves (in person, or over the internet) together with others,
to worship God on this first Sunday of Lent.

Today we light one candle, eager for the day when we’ve journeyed through these 40 days and find ourselves standing in the true Light that enlightens the world.

Setting aside our anxiety, our list-making, our focus on self … 
let us breathe in the presence of the Holy, 
and turn our minds, hearts and spirits to worship God!

Opening Prayer  

Holy Spirit, like a dove you descended on Jesus at his baptism.  
So come!
   cover us,
   fill us, 
   inspire us, 
as we offer our whole selves to you.  AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

As we begin this Lenten season, we have a golden opportunity to use these weeks to re-order our priorities.  As a congregation, we’re enthusiastic about ________________________ (name your particular focus).  

If you don’t have something already in place, consider making copies of the Simple Living/Alternatives calendar (from above) available, with encouragement for each person to creatively use a few minutes every day to focus on this daily stewardship.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

We are called to share the gifts God has given to us with the people of God.
So in this Lenten season, let us offer what we have for our neighbors
(both near and far), and for building up the Realm of God on earth.

God of mercy and grace, 
thank you for this time of sharing our gifts and resources while we mark this season’s beginning.  May your Realm continue to come near even as we daily seek to repent and believe in the good news which Jesus proclaimed.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

For this season, visually demonstrate the simplicity and the pared-down nature of Lent.  Remove any brass, gold or silver (candlesticks, trays, cross) and replace them with wood or pottery.  Remove any elaborate table covering and leave it bare or replace it with muslin, burlap or a plain purple cloth.

Our table today is simple.  
No elaborate or dressy cross, candles, chalice, or cloth.  
We’ve simplified as a sign of our start into this season of Lent.

We won’t be exiled to the wilderness 
      (tho’ some of us have the sense we’ve been there for the last year!)

Instead, we’ll step into these 40 days with a desire to strip away the excess 
    and focus on the core of our faith.  
Jesus, tempted, then teaching.
Jesus, repeating his call for all to REPENT.
Jesus, leading the Way to God and to God’s Realm of justice and peace
    in his life, his death and his resurrection.

You are invited to journey with Jesus. 

Here, to this table, come!  
Offer your life to Jesus as a follower/disciple.
Be enfolded with the Spirit and the agape love of God. 

As you eat this bread and drink from the cup,
     no longer famished,
     may you be filled.  

(if you have a vocalist who can sing this, or a congregation now singing, consider using verse 1 and the refrain of Spirit Song (CH #352) as your communion hymn.)