If you listen
not to the pages or preachers
but to the smallest flower
growing from a crack in your heart,
you will hear a great song
moving across a wide ocean…
connecting the islands
of the universe together…
you will feel it
John Squadra, This Ecstasy
quoted in inward/outward July 28, 2008
CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: The days ahead are dark and full of foreboding.
People: It is the Lenten season.
Leader: In this season we journey with Jesus toward his death.
People: In this season Jesus journeys with us
as we endeavor to die
to our old habits and destructive ways.
Leader: Even in this dark season,
God’s promise of new life embraces us.
All: We rejoice that in the darkness
God calls us to become
children of the light!
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
Leader: Forgiving, Loving Creator,
we come before you burdened with guilt.
Voice 1: We’ve set our minds on things that will not last.
Voice 2: Greed and power call to us, and we listen.
Leader: We give in to temptation again and again,
turning from you into the darkness.
Voice 1: By our inaction and our actions
we destroy the very world
you have given us to care for.
Voice 2: We decry the inhumanity of others,
yet pursue our own creature comforts
instead of justice.
All: Holy One, we acknowledge our sin
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
Leader: Through our life in Jesus Christ
we find our help and our salvation.
We are forgiven by the grace of God.
PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
All: O Holy One, we come today
to claim our relationship with you.
We pray for the commitment to grow together,
sharing the gifts you give us with others
here and in the wider world.
Forgive us for the hurt we have inflicted,
and help us forgive those who have hurt us.
Give us strength and discipline
to nurture our relationship with you;
to care for every part of your creation;
to foster justice and be in solidarity with those in need;
to work to end all war, and violence, and discord;
and to respond joyfully when you call,
freely giving our selves as you have shown the way.
We open our hearts to you and your creation
in the name of Jesus, who is the Christ. Amen.
Leader 1: Holy and Loving God, we give thanks
that you have placed us here,
as stewards of this creation.
All: We are thankful
for the life and teaching of Jesus,
faithfully turning again and again
toward your loving, compassionate way.
Leader 2: We are grateful for your Holy Spirit
lighting new paths
to welcome love and justice in our time.
All: We are grateful for your church,
Your body in this world,
a place to learn to care
for all of your beloved creation.
BLESSING THE ELEMENTS
Leader 1: Christ invites everyone to eat the bread of life,
to drink the cup of the new covenant.
Leader 2: Jesus said, I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall never hunger,
You who believe in me shall never thirst.
Leader 1: On the night of his arrest, Jesus took bread,
and after giving thanks to God, broke it and said,
This is my body,
broken for the healing of the world.
Whenever you eat it, do so remembering me.
Leader 2: After supper, Jesus took the cup and said,
This is the cup of the new covenant,
poured out for you and for all.
Whenever you drink it, do so remembering me.
SHARE THE ELEMENTS
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
All: God of abundance and mercy,
we give joyful thanks
for your eternal love and healing presence
in our celebration of bread and cup.
Bless this body of Christ
that we may attend faithfully
to our call to be your servants,
with each other and throughout the world.
Leader: Go forth from this place
listening to that small flower
growing from the crack in your heart.
Embrace its light.
Let the dark places be lit anew
by the Holy Spirit shining through you.