Worship Week beginning Sunday 28th February 2021

Lent 2, RCL Year B

Welcome to Worship with East Geelong UCA for the week beginning Sunday 28th February 2021. In this post you will find our liturgy and other worship elements that were used for the second week of Lent.

WORDS OF WELCOME 

From wherever you are joining me for this time of Worship, you are welcome here. From whenever you join me, may this be for you a moment of connection between us and with our God. As I speak, may my words be God’s words for us this day. This land is God’s land and God’s Spirit dwells here. Together we acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands under God. As we live and work, learn and play may we commit ourselves again to working for reconciliation in this place and all lands. Our Liturgy comes to us this Lenten season from the United Methodist Church. We continue our Lenten journeying with the Series Rend Your Hearts: Claiming The Promise. The Theme for our second week this morning is Walk Before Me.

CALL TO WORSHIP               
Pilgrims, we are invited to journey through this season of Lent
towards the One who calls us each by a new name.

Disciples, we walk with Jesus wherever he leads us,
pulling our fears, our doubts, our longings behind us.
Believers, we seek to trust the God who always surprises us,
whose promises take on flesh and blood in the good news called Jesus.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

(based on Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Mark 8:31-38; Romans 4:13-25)

Though people may turn
their backs on us,
you do not hide
your face from us.
Though others may try
to take away our hope,
you assure us of
that future waiting for us.
You speak your name,
Inscrutable Creator,
and it is enough.

When we try to dictate
our fears to you,
you invite us to follow you
into self-denial and service.
As we struggle to shape
our lifestyle to yours,
you carry us with you
wherever we go.
You speak your good news,
Teacher of open hearts,
and it is enough.

Though we have done
nothing to earn them,
you pour out the gifts
of grace and mercy upon us.
When we stumble
over our lack of trust,
you set us back on our feet,
to follow you into the kingdom.
You speak your peace,
Breath of Holiness,
and it is enough.

God in Community, Holy in One,
it is enough that you hear us
even as we pray as we are taught,
Our Father . . .

 LORD’S PRAYER

—both written by Thom Shuman and posted on his wonderful Lectionary Liturgies blog. http://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/ Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/call-to-worship-prayer-lent-2-b.html

NAME CHANGE PRAYER

Choral Reading/Litany inspired by Genesis 17:1-7

Reader One:
My name is Successful, and I like it.
I don’t especially like how I became a success,
But nonetheless, my name is Successful.
Doesn’t God like success? Doesn’t God want us to be successful?
I missed my child’s soccer game because a project at work was due;
My name is Successful.
The family waited dinner for me, but I never showed. Somebody needed my advice;
My name is Successful.
No time to visit the doctor or drive the speed limit. Lunchtime is fast food, if at all;
My name is Success.

People: But what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose his or her own soul? What will we give in exchange for our souls?

Reader Two:
Successful until I got the pink slip.
Successful until my license was suspended.
Successful until a mighty fist gripped my heart as if to rip it from my body.
Successful until divorce papers came.
Successful until my child was arrested.

People: And then … and then … and then one day, God changed my name: changed my name to Faithful.

Reader Three:
Now my name is Faithful, and I like me this way … so does my family.
I’m successful now because God changed my name.
I realize if my actions are not for God, they are not for me.
God likes for me to be faithful. God expects me to be faithful.

People: God teach us how to be faithful this Lenten Season. Teach us how to allow you to change our names.

Sherrie Dobbs, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 108.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

(based on Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 8:31-38; Romans 4:13-25)

Gracious God, you reached into Abraham and Sarah’s lives
and asked them to dream the impossible dream—
that you would transform what appears to have been
a barren and lifeless situation
into one overflowing with promise and hope—
and, through faith in you, they believed your promises.
Forgive us, O God,
if we never get beyond thinking of your call on our lives
as an impossible dream or even as an unwelcome interruption.

Faithful God,
the apostle Paul emphasizes Abraham’s complete trust and faith
in your promises
and how he grew ever stronger in faith,
fully convinced of your ability to fulfil what had been promised.
Forgive us, O God,
when we find it hard even to hear your promises
above commercial assurances of transformation—
promises tempting us to trust the newest
and trendiest product to realize our dreams.

Merciful God,
Jesus revealed the great depth of your love
in his determination to defeat evil
even when this meant giving up his own life.
Forgive us, O God,
when we allow the power of evil to flourish
because we fear that taking up one’s cross
would be just too costly an exercise.

Silent reflection on these words

Gracious and loving God, forgive our lack of trust in you;
Have mercy on us and forgive us.
Help us when we hesitate,
and strengthen us when we are weak
Breathe your Spirit afresh into our hearts and minds—our lives—
so that we have the courage to follow Jesus wherever he takes us.
Amen.

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS

(based on Romans 4:20-25)

Faith was reckoned as righteousness…to us who believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death because of our sins and was raised for the sake of our righteousness. (Romans 4:20-25)

Hear and believe these words about God’s amazing grace,
grace experienced through Jesus’ sacrificial love,
as forgiveness of sins. Amen
Thanks be to God!

— written by Moira Laidlaw and posted on Liturgies Online, http://www.liturgiesonline.com.au/ Visit her site for other great lectionary-based resources. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/confession-assurance-lent-2-b.html

ENGAGE

Readings from Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-17 & Mark 8:31-38 read by Joyce McIntyre
LUMO Project: Gospel of Mark 8: 31-18
Rev Amanda Nicholas, speaking on Genesis 17’s Abrahamic Covenant

PRAYER OF INTERCESSION FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

(based on Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Mark 8:31-38, Romans 4:13-25)

O Lord, we give you thanks for the example of Abraham and for all the saints who have gone before us – for those who waited in patience for your promises to come to pass – for those who lived in hope while around them it seemed to be only darkness, for those who witnessed to you when it was not considered the proper thing to do, for those who forgot their own selves in their desire to obey your commands and respond to your call upon their lives. Help us today, O God, to examine the level of our faith – to look seriously at our resistance to talk about the cross and about sacrifice; and to consider in prayer our reluctance to give up the things of this world – to risk our reputations, our comfort, and our security for the sake of following you – for the sake of witnessing to you – for the sake of obeying you ….

Lord, hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.

We pray, O Lord, that you would make us bold in our faith. By our self-forgetting, our self-denial, help us make visible to all our brothers and sisters the reality of your power and care – that power and care that is so often made evident when we confess our weakness – and so often concealed from others when we are strong….

Lord, hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.

We pray, O Lord, for those people whose names, or faces, or needs are resting upon our hearts – for the members of our church whose health is failing as they age – for those believers whose families are struggling to deal with teenage rebellion and adult confusion and uncertainty – for those who have little or no faith and who seem to be lost even though your light shines around them and your word is close to hand….

Lord, hear our prayer, and in your love, answer.

We pray, O Lord, for those in our family, our church, our community and our world that you bring to our hearts and minds at this time – and we hold them up to you with the words of our lips… (Bidding Prayer) …

All these things we pray to, through your Son Jesus, who died that we might live, and who lives that we might never die. Amen.

— written by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild and posted on his Kir-shalom website, http://www.rockies.net/
Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/prayers-of-people-for-lent-2.html

Here is a link to the deep dive on Mark 8:31-38 from the Tea with Two Revs Podcast.

Thanks for joining us in worship this day. Blessings to you in the days ahead.

Rev Amanda

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