Lent 4C March 27, 2022

Come to Life
Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent
March 27, 2022

Joshua 5:9-12 Psalm 32 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Call to Worship (Inspired by Psalm 32)
One: Happy are those who experience the grace of God
Many: Who find forgiveness and mercy from the Holy One.
One: Happy are those who experience the steadfast love of God
Many: Who find peace even in times of trial.
One: Happy are those who experience rest in God
Many: Who find sabbath to renew their spirit.

Holy God, Holy Renewal,
After times of broken relationships, painful injustices, and feeling deserted, we enter this season yearning for restoration and your comforting grace. In this time of wilderness and reflection, we evaluate the relationships between us and our neighbors. Fill our weary souls with hope. Lead us on roads of renewal, and focus our minds as we ponder our callings in your realm. Amen.

Prayer of Reflection and Growth
Holy Breath of Life,
There are moments when our decisions do not take into consideration the well-being of our neighbors. There are times when our reactions turn inward instead of building healthy reconciliation. How is it that we are holding back our neighbor’s rebirth? How are our implicit and explicit biases restricting God’s grace and radical love? How do our actions and biases impede our own spiritual growth?

Urge us to be life-giving agents of your love. May each of our steps be healing not only to us, but to our siblings on the journey. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Grace
God, our Divine Parent, runs towards us with infinite love and grace. May the mercy we experience transform our minds, hearts, and souls. May we extend God’s grace as we run towards our Divine Parent.

Reflection on Giving
One: Even when our gifts become dormant, God our Divine Parent stirs our hearts, calling us to bring to life our gifts once again. What gifts may God be challenging us to revive? How can these treasures, talents, and time create equitable communities?

And we pray together:
All: Loving God, Holy Fountain of Blessings,
With gratitude, we celebrate the offerings we share with you and this community today. May they enliven our spirits, building excitement around us, and creating a culture of giving. Open us to new possibilities for using our gifts to build the dignity of all and to strengthen our neighborhoods. Amen.

May our spirits come alive in this season of Lent
When we run to God, our Divine Parent, with the hopes of strengthening our bonds,
When we embrace the Christ, our Divine Neighbor, with the hopes of reconciliation,
When we breathe with the Spirit, our Divine Encourager, in the hopes of peace.

Come to Life: Service Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Lent C was written by the Rev. Michelle L. Torigian, Senior Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Belleville, Illinois.

Lent 4 March 27, 2022