February 28, 2021
Worship Resources for
the Center for Faith and Giving
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!
from Alternatives, now known as Simple Living Works.
Call to Worship (consider lighting a candle as you begin, if you’re adding a
new candle for each Lenten Sunday)
Come, people of God!
Do you hear?
God’s calling you by a unique name: Disciple!
In this Lenten season, disciples come to learn, to set aside all distraction,
and to follow Jesus, who leads us on the Way of Life.
Come! Today and every day throughout these forty days,
let us worship the Lord our God!
Opening Prayer (from Mark 8)
We do come to worship you, even when it’s difficult to hear Jesus’ teaching.
We’re not eager to deny ourselves.
When we see a cross, we want no part of it.
We’re rarely willing to lose even a moment of our life.
And yet, we know you are the One who leads us to abundant Life.
You are the Giver of life.
You alone offer us the opportunity to save our lives.
So make us resolute disciples.
Call us by name and increase our desire to be faith-filled followers of Jesus.
Receive us, even in our hesitation,
Moment for Stewardship (from Genesis 17 and Mark 8)
The story of God finally responding positively to Abram and Sarai challenges many of us. After seeking to follow God for nearly their whole lives, they are finally given that for which they’ve yearned: the promise of the birth of their child!
At 99 years old, was Abram really still waiting to receive what God promised to give?
Fast forward to Jesus, who offered to give the crowd and the disciples a new identity as “followers”.
Were they waiting to receive what Jesus offered, even if it meant “deny yourselves and take up your cross”?
This season of Lent provides opportunity for us to receive what Jesus offered.
Can you imagine Jesus, waiting to see how we deny ourselves and offer back to the Holy what we might have grasped for ourselves?
In this season, our congregation is __________________________ (name what your special offering is, and up-date where you are in underwriting this).
An additional way for us to deny ourselves is to step up and participate with generosity and enthusiasm in the Week of Compassion offering, “Let Love Flow”.
(video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zDMgubCd1U,
or at weekofcompassion.org).
Our congregation’s goal is $__________
(or if you don’t have a goal, provide a giving challenge which will stretch folks’ “giving muscle”. Do you have an outreach team who will match what the congregation gives?)
With true desire to live our lives as followers of Jesus, let us receive the gifts of the people of God.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy Giver of Life,
You’ve provided for us all that we have. So receive these gifts, offered because this is one way to act out our desire to be followers of Jesus.
Help us grow in our ability to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and truly walk in the Way of the Christ, in whose name we pray, AMEN
Invitation to Communion
Some fancy dinners have nametags at each place. Perhaps you’ve seen your name beautifully written on a card at a wedding reception, a baby shower, a family reunion or a festive Thanksgiving feast.
At this table, we don’t have visual nameplates, but we know this table has a place for each one who comes in response to Jesus’ invitation.
Yet many of us know we may need to have our names changed to find our place at this table. Like Abram (“exalted ancestor”), whose name became Abraham (“ancestor of a multitude”), or Simon, whose name became Peter…
At this table, we come praying for God to change us
from “sinner” to “saved”, from “wanderer” into “welcomed home”.
At this table, we no longer are “forsaken” but now we’re “forgiven”.
Whatever your name may have been, now you are “beloved”.
So come! There’s a seat at the table for YOU.
Find food for your spirit in these gifts of bread and cup,
signs and symbols of the life, death and resurrection
of the One we claim as Lord.
(if you have the capacity to show a music video, Carrie Newcomer’s
“Room at the Table”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkY_qBFs_3g
is beautiful music, words, and visuals).
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.