March 21, 2021

March 21, 2021
Lent V

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm 51:1-12 

 Hebrews 5:5-10

John 12:20-33

Remember to add a fifth candle if you’re growing the light before Maundy Thursday or Service of the Shadows.

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 51)

From all the varied places of our lives, we come to THIS place and THIS time
From COVID challenges and dawning spring delights,
from too much silence or too much chaos,
we come asking God to create clean hearts in us,
                               to put a new and steadfast spirit in us,
                               to restore to us the joy of God’s salvation
                                   and sustain a generous spirit in each of us.
Come!  Let us worship the Lord, our God!

Opening Prayer 

God of our salvation, we open our lips to declare your praise.  
This is our time to celebrate your presence. 
  Here we rejoice because you fill us with your holy spirit.
In your abundant mercy, blot out our brokenness and give us wisdom.

Receive all we offer to you in this hour, according to your steadfast love,
which we know most clearly in Jesus, the Christ.   AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  (Jeremiah 31 and Psalm 51)

In today’s texts, both the Psalmist and Jeremiah speak of hearts.  
The Psalmist prays for a “clean heart”.
Jeremiah, speaking for the Lord, declares:  
“I will put my law within (the people) and I will write it on their hearts.”

In this Lenten season, we’re welcoming God’s law of love, once more being written on our hearts.  For many of us, these 40 days also provide time for us to sweep out the anger, and break apart the hard-hearted crust which we grow to protect ourselves from hurt.  

Now is the time for us to recognize what happens in a clean heart!  
Just as perennials sprout in spring, we experience germinating generosity, growing in our own hearts!  

Not even a “spring cleaning” day at home is as satisfying to our souls as sharing the resources which we’ve been given.  Today is a great opportunity to dig deep, recognize the gift God is giving you, and respond with open-hearted thanks-giving.

Let us receive our morning tithes, gifts and offerings!

Prayer of Thanksgiving

From the abundance of your love, Gracious God, you’ve poured your spirit into our hearts.  We act out our thanks, symbolized in these resources and in our willingness to offer not only treasure, but also our time and our talent.  We pray you will receive what we offer and inspire us to stretch our giving muscles as we continue to journey with Jesus through these days of Lent.  AMEN

Invitation to Communion  

In John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about his death, saying “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself”.

While many of us might not be able to quote that text, we may recognize and appreciate contemporary composer Michael W. Smith’s song “Open the Eyes of My Heart”   (if you can, play the video:  

“To see (Jesus) high and lifted up” is what we seek when we come to this table.
In these gifts of bread and juice, emblems of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we’re given opportunity not only to see, but to touch, taste, smell, and KNOW the “high and lifted up” One.

Come!  For Jesus welcomes you to this table.  
Come!  This is where we give thanks for the Holy One!  

As a nod toward St. Patrick’s day (March 17), consider using part of this Irish blessing:
The last 2 minutes are particularly Irish.