Lent -- Service Prayers -- 2nd Sunday

Renew Our Trust:
Service Prayers for the Second Sunday in Lent

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18Psalm 27Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)

The church refers to Sundays in Lent, rather than Sundays of Lent: even during a season of penitence and fasting, the people gather for “mini-Easters” that interrupt the season with reminders of God’s insuperable presence and grace. Scriptures for Lent 2 embody the tension between life in a world that is filled with threats and hardships, on the one hand, and the reassurance of God’s presence and God’s shalom, on the other.

For Your Reflection

Nothing is more dangerous than misunderstanding evil. Evil has an irremediable

stubbornness about it. And it must be recognized, it has to be constrained,

but it can never be resolved. St. Augustine said,

“Never fight evil as if it were something that arose totally outside of yourself.”

                                                                                ~ William Sloane Coffin, Jr.

 

Often our trust is not full. We are not certain that God hears us because

we consider ourselves worthless and as nothing. This is ridiculous and

the cause of our weakness. I have felt this way myself.

                                                                                ~ Julian of Norwich

 

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away

the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.               

                                                                                ~ Corrie Ten Boom

 

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 27)

 

One:    God is my light, my hope, my all in all: whom shall I fear?

All:      God is the stronghold of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?

 

            One thing I asked of God: let me live in the shelter of you,
            in the beauty of your realm, in the wonder of your house.

            We seek your face, God! Do not turn aside!

 

            Teach us your way, God, show us your path through all that life brings.

            We shall see the blessing of God: come, Holy Spirit!

 

Unison Invocation

 

            God, we are too well aware that life brings us

           pains, doubts, uncertainties.

            We remember that Abram was filled with questioning,

            the early church surrounded by threats,

            Jesus himself confronted with fearful powers.

            In the midst of that awareness, we call upon you,

            our everlasting refuge.

            Remember your people, God.

            We long for a way through the frights of the world;

            we pray for your support.

            Come, Holy One; come, Spirit of Life.

            Come into this holy place and this holy hour,

            and fill us again with assurance of your grace.

            We ask it in Jesus’ name,  Amen.

 

Prayer of Confession

 

One:    We hear the call to trust in God always,

            But honestly, some days our stresses and doubts

            are even more real to us than God, and trust is elusive.

            We remember how Abram dared to believe in God’s promises,

            But belief like that is hard to come by. We are often inclined to think,

            “God helps those who help themselves,”

            instead of daring to rely on the word of our Creator.

            When the world seems filled with dangers,

            we can be quick to protect ourselves,

            And we forget the wisdom of scripture,

            which reminds us that we find traces of evil both

            outside and inside of ourselves.

            With God’s help, we confront our fears and struggles,

            and we call upon a power greater than our own to resist their pull.

            Hear us, Holy One, as we confess our frailty and failings.

 

Silent prayers of confession

 

Words of Assurance

 

One:    Though fear should beset us; though danger cause us to close up our doors;

            though troubles assail and lead us away from the ways of grace;

            only one thing is necessary:

            just turn back to God’s promise of grace.

            Remember that God is reaching out with loving arms,

            and let yourself be held.

            Only ask for forgiveness, and it is ours:

            know that in this moment we have asked and in Christ Jesus, we are forgiven.

 

All:      Thanks be to God! Amen.

 

Offertory Invitation

 

One:    Abram trusted, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.

            The Psalmist waited for God, while troubles raged.

            Jesus and Paul saw the enemies of faith around them.

            But by God’s grace, our world has more wonder than trouble.

            By God’s grace, we are gifted with hope and resilience.

            By God’s grace, love and life have triumphed

            and we are invited into the joyful communion

            of God and all God’s people.

            Let our tithes and offerings be a holy gesture of thanksgiving,

            a song of joy and blessing.

            Let us gather our gifts with grateful praise, and offer them to God’s purposes.

 

Unison Prayer of Dedication

 

            God of all goodness, we thank you for your blessings:

            more numerous than the stars;

            more bountiful than the greatest of harvests;

            more steady than the beat of our hearts.

            Here we dedicate our gifts

            and rededicate ourselves to your vision of hope and wholeness.

            May all that we do and all that we give be pleasing to you,

            and a testimony to your loving purposes.

            We ask it in Jesus’ name; Amen.

 

Benediction

 

One:    God is our light, our hope, our all in all:

All:      Blessed be God, now and forever!

 

            Christ is our home, our life, our joy:

            Blessed be God, now and forever!

 

            Our worship concludes; our service continues.

            Blessed be God, now and forever!

 

 


 Renew Our Trust: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday in Lent (Year C) was written by John A. Nelson, Pastor and Teacher of Niantic Community Church, Niantic, Connecticut.

Copyright 2010 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. 

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CONTACT INFO

Rev. Susan A. Blain
Minister for Worship, Liturgy and Spiritual Formation
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland,Ohio 44115
216-736-3869
blains@ucc.org