Lent -- Service Prayers
O God of Wisdom
Third Sunday of Lent
Call to Worship adapted from Psalm 19
One: The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
Many: and the firmament proclaims God’s handiwork.
One: Your law, O God, is perfect, reviving our souls,
Many: and your commandments are sure, rejoicing our hearts.
One: Let our words and worship, the meditation of our hearts,
be acceptable to you,
Many: O God, our rock and our redeemer!
O Wise God
You have come to us in the form of a vulnerable child;
You teach us that the last are first and the first, last;
You lead us on a Way to new life that leads through death.
Truly your wisdom is different than ours!
Meet us in this place and teach us your foolish wisdom
and your vulnerable power;
give us joy to receive it fully
and courage to live it foolishly,
through Jesus Christ, your Wisdom and Word.
Call to Confession
The Exodus passage today lays out for us the Ten Commandments in their
simplicity: a way of reverence for God, for life, for community. Let us reflect in our hearts
on these commandments which we know by heart! (silence)
Litany of Confession
When we seek sources of authority and security and refreshment for our lives
other than You:
God, have mercy.
When our decisions harm your good creation and the abundant life
You have provided your people:
Christ have mercy.
When our relationships do not reflect the justice and mercy You desire for all:
God have mercy.
Assurance of Grace
Christ makes all things new, and offers forgiving grace and welcome into a
community of trust, abundance and hope. Let us give thanks for the mercy of God, and
pass the peace of Christ in community among us.
In our psalm reading, we hear that the sun runs, “like an athlete,” its course in the
heavens, “with joy.” Will we, in turn, run the course of our lives with joy? Deep down in
generosity is a joy that thanks God for the many gifts around us, the gift of our lives, our
families and friends, this church and the whole United Church of Christ, all the signs of
hope and new life that sustain us on our way. Let us gather our gifts together and offer them to God
in gratitude, heartfelt commitment, and deepest joy.
Blessing over the Gifts
How good you are, loving God! How beautiful is your creation, the gift of our lives
and all that we love. Let your blessing come upon our offering this morning. We dedicate it
as a sign of our promise to you that we will join in your marvelous work of healing and
transforming this world. Bless our church and the ministry that thrives here, bless and
multiply it, make it a sign of your love in our day. Amen.
A beautiful path is laid out for us this morning as we leave worship and return to a
world blessed by God. Follow that path, God’s beautiful law, and let it sustain you in every
hour. Like a graceful athlete, may you run the course of your life with joy. And may the grace
and peace of God the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Sustainer come upon you this day and remain with
you always. Amen.
Additional suggested hymns from The New Century Hymnal:
#454 Lord, I Want to Be a Christian
#583 Like a Mother Who Has Borne Us
#581 Lead Us from Death to Life
# 75 Lord, Make Me More Holy
O God of Wisdom: Prayers for the Third Sunday in Lent, was written by the Rev. Kathryn Matthews Huey and the Rev. Susan A. Blain of the Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team.
Copyright 2009 Local Church Ministries, Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100. Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education. All publishing rights reserved.