Lent 5C April 3, 2022
“Leave Her Alone”
Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday in Lent Year C
Isaiah 43:16–21 | Psalm 126 | Philippians 3:4b–14 | John 12:1–8
Call to Worship
One: Family of God, we gather as who we are, and we bring what we have.
Many: Let us encounter the new thing God is doing among us.
One: We bring joy and sorrow, hope and despair, resources and need, certainty and questions.
Many: Let us engage the new thing God is doing among us.
One: In this space, we meet the One who parts seas, creates paths, and changes circumstances.
Many: Let us encourage the new thing God is doing among us.
Prayer of Invocation
Holy One, we rejoice in your presence. We acknowledge that you have done great things in our history, in our present, and in our future. Our hope rests in you. We rejoice in confidence that you abide in our dry spaces and in our flowing streams. Lead us through troubling times and empower us to continue to press toward you and your way. In our worship, part our lips in praise, open our hearts in love, and quench our spirits in worship. Amen.
Prayer for Transformation and Restoration
Righteous God, you made us in your divine image and yet we often turn to the gazes of others to see ourselves. We yield to the temptation of comparison and measure ourselves according to standards not made for us. You declared us good, and we question your judgment. We turn from your truth and receive the lies of the enemy of our souls that devalue and condemn even though your grace is sufficient for us. Mend the brokenness within us. Fortify us with your love, hope, and vision. Shield us from stagnation and despair. Amen.
Assurance of Grace
The God of grace sees us fully, knows us fully, and loves us fully. May our eyes be ever open to see ourselves as God sees us and restore our souls.
Invitation to Generosity
In the gospel reading, we find a story of abundant generosity. Let us be like Mary who did not count the cost of the blessing she shared but only sought the good, purpose, and reward of her gift. Let us not hesitate to pour what we have out in order to touch lives, comfort and console, and meet the needs we encounter in our community and our world.
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Dedication
Anoint these gifts, Generous God, that they may fulfill their purpose. Through the pouring out of our financial resources, unique passions and skills, and faithful companionship with our community, may we impart hope, render joy, and participate in your kindom. Amen.
As you go into the world, may the aroma of your faith fill the air around you. May your hope perfume your encounters. May your touch mend broken walls. And may the God of hope and peace, guide you, envelope you, and sustain you on the journey and in the work.
Leave Her Alone Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday in Lent was written by the Rev. Dr. Cheryl A. Lindsay, Minister for Worship and Theology, United Church of Christ.