Lent 2A — March 5
Second Sunday in Lent
March 5, 2023
“Called to Go”
CALL TO WORSHIP
Liturgist: From the safety and comfort of home, God called Abram to go from all he knew to embrace a future yet to be revealed.
All: “Go from,” God says, and our hesitant hearts place one foot in front of the other to trust God with the unknown.
Liturgist: By night, Nicodemus came seeking greater insight into the teachings of God for the journey set before him. Jesus called him out of the shadows and towards a life born anew.
All: “Go towards” God says, and a new life awaits us. We reach towards a God who has not come to condemn the world but to offer a salve that can heal all wounds.
Liturgist: We fear the unknown and that which we lack in understanding. “How can this be?” we proclaim with Nicodemus. And yet, God’s call is one that urges us to go with our whole self into that unknowing, trusting that God will provide a way.
All: Love calls us forth into lives of transformation, born anew into new paths of faith. Though we do not know where we are going, God has promised to never leave us alone. Let us worship the One who will show us the way.
PRAYER OF INVOCATION
God of calls and courage, you draw us towards your loving embrace even as we face what seems like impossibility. We experience heartache and grief, injustice and cruelty, fear and anxiety as daily teachers on this path of faith. As you call us to go into an uncertain and unknown future, O God, grant us the courage needed to let go of all that we have known so that we can take hold of the new life you are bringing about even now. Though we may not know where we are going, God, your way is revealed moment by moment, step by step, and breath by breath. In the name of the One who so loves the world we pray. Amen.
PRAYER FOR TRANSFORMATION AND NEW LIFE
Liturgist: O God, we all too often wish to go our own way, maintain control, and rely on our own strength rather than trust that you will provide. Forgive us in our unwillingness to live by faith or to not trust you with providing all that we need for the journey.
All: May God’s mercy surround our weaknesses with grace for restoring us to hope everlasting.
WORDS OF GRACE/ASSURANCE OF GOD’S LOVE
Friends, the call of God does not leave us isolated and condemned on a road of uncertainty, fear, and mistakes made. God’s unending love and compassion is for all whose burdens are heavy and whose weary journey brings tears. May the tender arms of God carry you forth in strength.
All: God has not come to condemn, but to offer a healing salve for our wounds. We welcome God’s healing and salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.
INVITATION TO GENEROSITY
Gracious and Giving God, you have called us to give of our resources so that others may experience the new life you are inviting us into. Let our gifts be for the birthing of new life in our local community, in the global community, and in our faith community. In the name of Jesus the Christ we pray. Amen.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND DEDICATION
O God who calls us to go out into the world with generosity, may these gifts call us from our lives of comfort and towards a faith journey that embraces your love, justice, and compassion for a world in need of your healing. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Friends, go forth with the courage of God to guide you into those places of restlessness and uncertainty.
For we are called to go…
From our places of comfort.
From our certainties and complacency.
From our old life and into the new.
May the call of God not just call us from but toward a love so compelling that we are willing to trust our whole self into the embrace of the Creator, into the abiding love of Christ, and into the sacred dance of the Holy Spirit.
We go forth in the peace of Christ. Amen!
Called to Go: Service Prayers for the Second Sunday in Lent were written by Rev. Dr. Chad Abbott who serves as the Conference Minister for the Indiana Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ and resides in Indianapolis, Indiana.