Lenten Worship Gifts to Share

Two calls to worship from Dee Ledger of Maryland, followed by a pastoral prayer based on circus imagery (ah, the three ring church!) by Sara Weatherman of Colorado.

*CALL TO WORSHIP (responsive) –improv on Psalm 50:1-6
Leader: From the rising of our winter sun to where it sets beyond the frozen city,

People: God calls out to us through the faces of humanity,

Leader: Withered faces, weary faces, laughing faces and languishing faces,
fresh faces, acne faces, powdered and prosaic faces,
scarred faces, scared faces, bloody and baby faces…

People: From Zion and Bethesda, (feel free to use another city)
perfect in beauty,
God shines brightly.

Leader: Our God shines and finds a way to speak in our seasons, to manifest…

People: In a way that we can understand;
in a way that restores our integrity and wonder.

Leader: In a way that graces us a glimpse of life’s infinite loveliness,
the gaps and gullies of our seeking and stumbling.

People: In a way that uses our blushing for good,
our wrinkles for redemption,
and our tear stained cheeks for healing and wholeness.

Leader: We, like Jacob, have seen the face of God and lived.

People: We, like Jesus, shine. Dee Ledger

*CALL TO WORSHIP (responsive)

Leader: We’ve got a fever, God, and our temperature is rising.

People: The fever of living from day to day, of climate change on earth,
of changes in our own personal “atmospheric” weather,
Rushing, aching, over-doing, and over-consuming…

Leader: We’ve got a fever, God, and our temperature is rising.

People: The fever to serve, to discover meaning, to have “all this” resolve now and realign with the healthy, the just, and the good.

Leader: We’ve got a fever, God, and it’s often hard to find places and moments of healing…

People: Moments of trust, moments of quiet rest, moments of refreshing beauty.

Leader: Take us by the hand, God.

People: Take us by the hand, Spirit.

Leader: Take us by the hand, Holy Jesus, and put a cool cloth of compassion
to our foreheads, soothe our feverish ways;

People: Lead us away from the crowded ways of life periodically
that we might find refreshment, solace, Sabbath, and soul-mending. Dee Ledger

 Prayers of the people – with circus imagery110873439

Loving God, here we are, grateful to you for your gifts to us,
For your sticking with us throughout our lives,
For your grace and steadfast love.

We pray for those walking one of life’s tightropes –
trying to keep their balance along the way.

We pray for those swinging on a trapeze—
wondering when or how to let go, or whether to hang on.

We pray for those who need a safety net
and don’t have one.

We pray for those jumping through hoops
of one kind or another, whether they want to or not.

We pray for those cleaning up stinky messes—
messes they made or messes made by others.

We pray for those in governments at all levels, or churches, or non-profit organizations, planning where the circus will go next, and working to keep everyone in the circus family or community safe.

We pray for those standing in the spotlight of success, soaking up the applause,
knowing there is more work to be done.

We pray for the many never in any spotlight,
just doing what needs doing with persistence and care.

We pray for those who don’t have a church or family or circus to call home –
those who wander alone.

We thank you, God, for each person here, and those absent today, for the parts they play in our life together. Grant us eyes to see your acts of passionate love in our midst and in our world. Give us courage to sing your praise, here in worship, and in how we live our daily lives.

We pray all these things in the name of Jesus the Christ, who taught us a prayer to say together:

The Prayer of our Savior …

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