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March 22, 2023 - Fourth Lenten Service
Leader: The love of God poured into our hearts, the saving grace of Jesus Christ, and the abundant life of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Cong: And also with you.
Leader: O God, rich in mercy, full of kindness, out of your great love, you raise us up from sin and death and make us alive together with Christ. Write your word upon our hearts and restore in us the image of your love that, by your Spirit, our way of life may become the way of Christ, through whom we pray...Amen
Moment of Silence
“Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” - #608
A Short Testament” by Anne Porter
Whatever harm I may have done
In all my life in all your wide creation
If I cannot repair it
I beg you to repair it,
And then there are all the wounded
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed
As if I were not one of them.
Where I have wronged them by it
And cannot make amends
I ask you
To comfort them to overflowing
And where there are lives I may have withered around me
Or lives of strangers far or near
That I’ve destroyed in blind complicity,
And if I cannot find them
Or have no way to serve them,
Remember them. I beg you to remember them
When winter is over
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death’s bare branches.
“Never Let Go”
Gospel: Luke 15:11-32
Jesus told them this parable: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the wealth that will belong to me.’ So he divided his assets between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant region, and there he squandered his wealth in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that region, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that region, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to his senses he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate, for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
“Now his elder son was in the field, and as he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command, yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ ”
The Word of the Lord...Thanks be to God
Moment of Silence
Prayer in Movement
When the music begins, we invite you, at your own pace, to make a mini pilgrimage to an area of our worship space that holds meaning for you in our life of faith together. Walk slowly and prayerfully to that spot and pause there, praying for the people, ministry, or sacrament it represents and for any forgiveness you are moved to ask of, or to offer, in this community. Then return to your seat slowly, thanking God for the blessings these people, ministries, and sacraments offer our community.
Prayers of the Church
Leader: All these prayers we offer to you, O God of boundless compassion, trusting you to care for what we have named aloud or in our hearts...Amen
Sacrament of Holy Communion
Words of Institution
The Lord’s Prayer
"Lamb of God" - #336
Communion Blessing & Benediction
“The Wonderful Cross"
Go in peace, serve the Lord...Thanks be to God!
Please join us next Wednesday as we focus on God’s Love.
For those who wish to have more time for reflection and prayer, there will be 15 minutes of quiet Music and Meditation (M&M) using the Taize style of meditation.
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