Sunday, February 24, 2013

Third Sunday in lent - C

Texts:  Isaiah 55:1-9; Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9

Call to Worship
When our pockets are empty, God allows us to purchase what we need,
     charging it to grace's account.
God thinks differently than we do.
When our souls are parched, God hands us a glass of living water.
God's ways are different from ours.
When we grow weary of searching, God takes our hand and leads us home.
God's love is different from ours.

Prayer of the Day
God of Grace:
we would max out every credit card
and empty our bank accounts
if we thought we could buy
that peace, that hope,
that mercy, that joy
which always seem to elude us.
     Yet you wrap them up and hand them to us,
     with no price tag attached.

We hold our empty lives
out to the world,
begging to be filled to the brim
with all that will only disappoint us.
     Yet you would grace us with living waters,
     which never run dry.
We lie awake at night
from the insomnia of our stress,
whispering of our fears.
     Yet you would lullaby us
     with your love which never ends.

We would lift our hearts to you,
God in Community, Holy in One,
trusting that you will listen to us,
even as we pray as Jesus has taught us,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
Gifted beyond measure, we grumble that we don't have enough. Seeking to get our own way, we do not see the ways God wants to forgive us and restore us to new life. In this season of reflection and repentance, let us turn to the One who waits for us with hope.

Unison Prayer of Confession
   We continue to be tempted, Faithful God.  We are blessed with gifts to use for others, but we want to keep them for ourselves. We easily notice the mistakes of those around us, but do not want to look in the mirror at our lives. We turn our desires into idols, so we do not have to recognize how they can damage us.
   Forgive us, Steadfast God. Fill the poverty of our spirits with the richness of your grace; feed our selfish hunger with the bread of compassion for the world; pour the living waters of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, into our hearts until they overflow with love.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon
God is faithful. God's love is an eternal bargain which will not be broken, God's grace is the gift which will not be taken back.
Such abundant mercy, such extravagant grace!  Thanks be to God, we are forgiven. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving

May the God of everlasting covenants be with you!
And also with you!
Lift up your thirsty hearts to God.
We long for the waters of grace to fill us.
Sing praises to the One who feeds us with wonder.
Our mouths praise God with joy on our lips.

Your ways were not the ways of chaos,
God of Wonder and Delight,
and so with thoughts beyond understanding
you spoke,

     and waters rushed through weary lands;
you listened,
     and songbirds composed anthems for you.
You crafted humanity in your image,
     your steadfast love a promise to us for all time,
but we did not listen carefully to all you spoke,
and so spent your blessings on those temptations
which never could keep us satisfied.
So we would not be unaware
of your continued love for us,
     prophets came, calling us to stop
     and to listen to your longing heart.
When we would not forsake our foolish ways,
Jesus came, your eternal covenant of salvation.

So, we join our voices with all those
who seek you in every time and place,
calling upon you with hope and joy.

Holy, holy, holy, God our God.
Heaven and earth behold your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who provides the way out of sin and death.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, O God, our God,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, your song of joy.
When we had lost our way
in the weary land of sin,
     he came to lead us to the waters of hope.
When we could not hear your voice
amid the jumbled thoughts of temptation,
     he came to witness of the good news
          first sung in the broken places of your heart.
When our ways, fertilized by fear and doubt,
were unable to produce any life for us,
     he dug up the roots of death,
          that resurrection might be planted
          deep within us, blooming forever.

As we draw closer to that week we call Holy,
as we remember the One we call Savior,
we speak of that mystery we call faith:

Christ died, witnessing to the world;
Christ rose, destroying the destroyer;

Christ will come, blessing us forever.

From the generosity of your heart you provide
the gifts of the bread and the cup,
charging us nothing, as your Spirit
pours out love and grace on all
who gather at the feast of remembrance.
Here, we are fed with that which
is not bread, but the very life we need,
     so we con go forth to serve your people.
Here, our thirsty souls are refreshed
by the taste of peace and hope,
     so we might speak out for all
     who are ignored by the world.

And when we know no thoughts but yours,
when we are gathered with our sisters and brothers
in that place which you have prepared,
we will sing for joy in the shelter of your heart,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) 2013