March 3, 2024 (Lent III)

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving


Exodus 20:1-17

Psalm 19

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

John 2:13-22

Call to Worship  (unison, adapted from Psalm 19)

May the words of our mouths be acceptable as we come to worship
the Lord our God!

Today, we celebrate the law of the Lord, which revives our souls.
Here, we give thanks for the commandment of the Lord,
      which enlightens our eyes.
Daily we desire to follow the decrees of the Lord, which are 
 So we tune our lives to the Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

Opening Prayer  (unison)

Holy God, even the heavens tell your glory! 
As we hear again the commandments you’ve given,
help us honor you by following what you’ve provided.
We so often seek to cut our own path, 
  caught up in doing what pleases us.
In this hour turn us back to the path you’ve set before us.
Forgive our stubborn waywardness, and walk with us,
 that we might show ourselves to be your loving daughters and sons.

Moment for Stewardship (in response to John 2:13-22)

Jesus driving the money-changers out of the Temple leaves some of us uneasy.  No one likes seeing anger translated into mayhem!  The image
of Jesus with a whip, driving out the animals and over-turning the tables of those exchanging foreign money into “acceptable” money pushes some of us to wonder if we should not bring money into worship.

Let’s be clear!  Sharing an offering is one opportunity for us to demonstrate this truth: all we have and all we are comes as a gift from God. We are invited to be stewards of what God provides.  Offering our gifts reminds us
to regularly set aside a portion of our resources as a sign of our identity.

What have you brought today to affirm your identity as a child of God?  
With joyful hearts, let us share our gifts in a spirit of thanksgiving.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Lord, receive this offering as a sign of our love for you and for this congregation – one part of the body of Christ in the world today.  Help us use these resources to build up your Realm on earth, as it is in heaven.

Invitation to Communion  

During this season of Lent we are traveling ever closer to the cross.  Paul calls that a “stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

At this table of the Lord, we find ourselves in the shadow of the cross, but
we also recognize God’s power and wisdom shows up in symbolic form: bread and juice.  
What is ordinary becomes extraordinary.  
What is simple becomes elaborate.  
What is tiny becomes huge!

Jesus, knowing he was gathered for the last time with his disciples, offered them new meaning for familiar objects.  
Bread from their meal = “this is my body”.
The wine they’d shared = “this cup is the new covenant in my blood”.

We acknowledge our identity as covenant partners with Jesus as we share these elements.  

Come!  Eat!  Drink! 
Let us feast, for when we eat this bread and drink from the cup, 
we proclaim Christ’s death until he comes.

Additional resources

EXODUS, CHAP. XX.  In poetic form, created by Isaac Watts

11. THOU shalt have no more Gods but me.

22. Before no Idol bow thy Knee.

  3. Take not the Name of God in vain.

44. Nor dare the Sabbath-day profane.

  5. Give both thy Parents Honour due.

66. Take heed that thou no Murder do.

77. Abstain from Words and Deeds unclean.

88. Nor steal, tho’ thou art poor and mean.

99. Nor make a wilful Lie, nor love it.

10. What is thy Neighbour’s dare not covet.