Psalm 130 says:
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O People of God, put your hope in the Lord for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
Lord, your mercies are new every day.
When we can hardly catch our breath, fear clenching our stomachs, and every horizon dark, you are there, reminding us that we are your children.
Whether we’re standing on the precipice of grief, or pain, or loneliness or despair: you hear us calling.
Our prayers not echoing in empty chambers, not ricocheting into nothingness; you listen to every word.
You come, not always with quick fixes, not always with the solutions we’ve planned.
You teach us that every road is walkable with you beside us.
Your steadying voice calms us.
You are the faithful One, from generation to generation, seeking out our sad souls, picking up the lost and left behind, taking care of the woeful.
God of great grace, hear this prayer of thanks even from the land of broken dreams. Amen.
Call to Confession:
This season of Lent – 40 days that lead us to Easter – reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness. We, too, seem to be in a sort of wilderness. One that we’ve been given no choice but to navigate. And the only choice we have been given is whether we will cooperate and lean in.
Maybe we could see it as an invitation to intimacy with God – a time of noticing, both what’s around us and what’s within us. When our normal distractions and rhythms are stripped away, a very real sense of resting in God’s presence somehow becomes more possible. This desert could be a place of wandering, of desolation and desperation. Or perhaps a place of growth – where relying on God spurs a new kind of flourishing.
Prayer of Confession
Words of Assurance:
Psalm 46 says, God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
You are not alone. You are held in the palm of God’s hand. His love never gives up on you.
So hear the good news: in Jesus Christ we are sought, we are found, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!
Prayers of the People
Offering for Jubilee & World Renew: Refugee Sunday
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Song of Preparation
Scripture Reading: Luke 12: 1-7
Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.NRSV