United Church of Christ

Lent 4 - March 22

God’s Vision is Broad and Vast
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 22, 2020

1 Samuel 16:1-13 Psalm 23 Ephesians 5:8-14 John 9:1-41

Possible Sermon Titles:
Coming of Age 
Where the Spirit Lands
Do I See What You Know?

Call to Worship
One: God, sometimes, the days are long, the nights are even longer, and we’re so
tired.
And then You soothe us and bring us to gentle places.
Many: You are our shepherd, and we don’t need a thing.

One: Sometimes, life is moving too fast, and we can’t find a moment to breathe.
And then You surround us with stillness and bring an even rhythm to our breath.
Many: You are our shepherd, and we don’t need a thing.

One: Sometimes, we’re parched, and it seems nothing will quench our thirst,
We’re famished and we can’t find anything to eat.
And then You refresh and fill us.
Many: You are our shepherd, and we don’t need a thing.

One: Sometimes, the valley is dark and the shadows are heavy and we’re afraid.
But then we feel Your strength, and we have courage.
Many: You are our shepherd, and we don’t need a thing.

One: There are the times when it seems we’re up against the world,
Many: You show those who push the hardest that You have called us to serve.
You touch us, and we are blessed.

One: We will praise You and dwell with you forever, O God.
Many: We will worship You this day and always!

Prayer Of Gathering/Invocation
Magnificent God
who sees all that we can see and everything that we cannot, 
we gather in awe of your vision that is broad and vast.
Be with us now as we worship you.  
Awaken us to your holiness, 
inspire us with your creative power, 
and peel back our layers of anxiety and fear.  
Enliven us to trust fully in your love for us 
as we struggle and strive to be who you call us to be, 
in Christ’s holy name.  Amen.

Prayer of Confession
O Wise and Gracious God,
we are each a small dot, a pixel,
in the picture of your amazing creation.
You have designed us to work together.
And yet, we continue to separate ourselves,
to live as if our strength lies in our individuality.
We confess to you that we often find it easier to celebrate our solitude,
to thrive on our individual gain,
and to seek ways to lift ourselves above the canvas as more important than
others.

We pray that you will impress upon us your definition of “one” as together,
and that we will seek both the ability and the courage
to move away from “one” that is each of us alone.
Forgive us, we pray.

Prayer Of Assurance
We thank you, O God, for your steadfast love and forgiveness.
Guide us, we pray, through the life and love you show us in Jesus the Christ,
in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Call for the Offering
God sees all things!
God sees our comings and our goings,
our strengths and our weaknesses, our needs and our desires.
God sees in us the potential we do not yet see in ourselves.
I invite you to share your offerings and gifts
out of the abundance that is God’s vision for us!

Blessing of First Fruits
All that we have, all that we give this day, Holy One,
already belongs to you.
Bless these, our gifts, and give us vision to use them to glorify you.  Amen.

Benediction (adapted from Ephesians 5: 9-14)
For once you were darkness,
but now in the Lord you are light.
Live as children of light!
Seek that which is good and right and true,
and try to live in a way that pleases God.
Look to the light of God’s love shown to us in Jesus.
Do not hide from it or ignore the struggles of the world
but awaken to God’s call.
Arise, O sleeper, and Christ will give you light!

Ideas for Music:
“Amazing Grace: My Chains are Gone”
“Greater” – Mercy Me
"This Is a Day of New Beginnings" – Brian Wren
"Offering" – Andra Moran

God’s Vision is Broad and Vast: Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent was written by the Rev. Kim Wood, Acting Associate Conference Minister, Illinois Conference, UCC.

Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO 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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