Call To Worship (Psalm 150)
One: Praise the LORD! Praise God in the sanctuary; praise God in the mighty firmament!
All: Praise God for God’s mighty deeds; praise God according to God’s surpassing greatness!
One: Praise God with trumpet sound; praise God with lute and harp!
All: Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
One: Praise God with clanging cymbals; praise God with loud clashing cymbals!
All: Let everything that breathes praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!
Lord of the dance, we thank you for the mystery of life. We thank you for Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit: three-in-one, one-in-three, a dance of relationship designed to confound our reasoning. Teach us to trust our bodies. Teach us to embrace our humanity. Inspire us to playful acts of creation, for we are created in your image, God. You look upon your creation with love, and, behold, it is very good. Amen.
Prayer of Dedication
Holy Mystery, we give in response to your limitless self-giving. Moment by moment you fill the universe to overflowing. We praise you for your unsurpassing greatness. Amen.
Opening Prayer Deacon
Brother Jesus, we try to pin you down but you’re always on the move. Someone asks, “Where is he?” And we have to admit, “I don’t know.” In the same way, your spirit blows where it will, inviting us on new adventures, urging us into the unknown. Give us courage to step past the edges of our old maps. Give us the resolve to venture with you into the wilderness where angels and beasts make their homes. Show us where to find rest and refreshment on the way. Amen.
Welcome/Benediction Script Lent 2021
Reader One: The Bible says that after Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness where Satan tempted him and angels protected him.
Reader Two: The Bible says that Moses led God’s people on a 40 year journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land.
Reader Three: The spiritual path leads through the wilderness because the wilderness is where we meet God.
Reader Four: This Lenten season we will follow the examples of Jesus, of Moses, of countless ancestors before us and step into the unmapped and unknown areas of our lives. We will examine our doubts, fears, questions, visions, possibilities, and promises for the future trusting in God to guide us. Let’s prepare our hearts for worship. The adventure begins!
Reader One: Our hearts are rested; our souls stirred; our vision sharpened; our bodies energized. We step into the new week with courage knowing that whatever we encounter, we are not alone.
Reader Two: Go in peace to love God and share the good news of new life in Jesus!
Holy God, your Spirit calls and our hearts respond. Your Spirit calls and our world is overturned. Your Spirit calls and our spirits awaken. Your Spirit calls and our minds clear. Your Spirit calls and our bodies relax. Your Spirit calls and anxieties depart. Your Spirit calls and old ways diminish. Your Spirit calls and a new future is born. Amen.
Pastoral Prayer 1-10-21
It has been a week. Together we bear witness to historic events in the life of our nation. On Wednesday the first African American from Georgia was elected to the Senate, a pastor who serves the same congregation Martin Luther King, Jr. once did. Dr. King gave his life for a Biblical vision of beloved community. This week we saw evidence that Dr. King’s vision continues to bear the fruit of love and justice in our nation.
That same day, Wednesday Jan. 6, we witnessed an armed attack on our nation’s Capitol. Four people lost their lives. Our nation’s leaders were forced to shelter in place. On Jan. 6 a mob incited by our President was able to do what all the armies of the Confederacy failed to do 150 years ago. They paraded the Confederate battle flag–a symbol of slavery, racism, and hate–through the halls of congress. It was a chiling reminder that the evil of racism and white supremacy continues to eat away at the soul of our country. Like Dr. King’s dream our nation is resilient but fragile. We pray that you will send your spirit to heal our land.
Also on Wednesday we gathered in the evening to record the professions of faith of three Confirmands. We celebrate with joy their honesty, their curiosity, their love, and their commitment to the way of Jesus. We ask that you bless and protect them. We ask that you make all of us instruments of your peace in this time of unrest. We ask that as a congregation you give us the courage to find a way toward your future. Give us a heart for future generations so that they, too, can learn of Dr. King’s dream and find new ways to embody it.
In this time of conflict and mass delusion, we may at times feel helpless to heal the divides of our nation. Give us a baptism of your Spirit that we may all be one. Renew our commitment to the way of Jesus, who received a baptism of the Spirit in order to bring justice and peace among all people.
Bless by your Holy Spirit, gracious God, this water that by it we may be reminded of our baptism into Jesus Christ and that by the power of your Holy Spirit we may fulfill what we have promised.
Creative God, baptize us with your Holy Spirit. Create in us a new heart, one attuned to your love, one filled with your life, a heart that radiates warmth and generosity. The world is full of suffering. We, too, suffer. Heal us so that we can be your hands of healing for others. Amen.