Second Sunday in Lent

March 5, 2023

The blessings of our God are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains.
They are more abundant than the bounties of the everlasting hills.
The God of Creation has spread for us a feast.
The Author of Life invites us to the table.
Our help is in the Name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
—based on Gen. 49:26; Ps. 124:8

O God, you are stronger than the mountains
and your love is deeper than the seas.
You care about all our needs,
and you keep watch over us day and night.
During this hour of worship, may we know you as our helper:
Teach us to trust your grace in times of fear and danger,
and assure us of your nearness;
for we depend on you alone to be our sure deliverer.
This we ask in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God our Creator, your kindness has brought us the gift of a new morning. Help us not to cling to yesterday, nor covet tomorrow, but to accept the uniqueness of today. By your love, celebrated in your word, seen in your Son, brought near by your Spirit, take from us all we need no longer carry, that we may be free again to choose to serve you and be served by each other.
We believe that God forgives and sets us free, and at the week's beginning we commit ourselves to follow where Christ calls and to love one another.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
In the Name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven. 
Glory to God. Amen.
Common Order, Church of Scotland (adapted)

You are great, O God, and so our praise should be great—
greater than our admiration for any worldly thing.
Your power is beyond our imagining
and your wisdom is infinite.
What can be our response, but to praise?
You love us and allow us into your presence,
though we are but a tiny speck in your creation—a fleeting particle.
You witness our wrongdoings, and yet you forgive us
and awaken in us a desire to glorify you.
For you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.

During this holy season of preparation,
help us to re-order our lives in you.
Grant us to know you better and to understand your will.
And help us to pray unceasingly and turn to you in all things.
Yet we cannot know you unless we call on you.
And we cannot call on One of whom we know nothing.
So we must acknowledge that you are our beginning and you will be our end.

So keep us safe in you during this earthly sojourn.
We ask for your guidance and protection.
We pray as well for those you have placed in our lives.
We pray for healing for the sick,
peace for the dying, and comfort for the bereaved.
We lift up to as well the homeless and hungry,
the world’s victims of oppression and war.
Help us to follow the example of your Son:
ministering to those in need, speaking the truth to power,
and standing for peace in the midst of violence.
All this we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, God forevermore. Amen.
—inspired by the Confessions of Augustine of Hippo

In Psalm 84, we read
how blest are those who seek their strength in God,
in whose hearts are the highways to Zion.
So no matter who you are
or where you are on your life’s journey,
you’re welcome in this church and at this table.
For it belongs not to this congregation, but to the Lord—
and it is Christ himself who invites you to meet him here.

Eternal God, we thank you for all your blessings,
and here we offer to you our gifts
that you may use them
to strengthen the church and serve our neighbors.
We thank you especially for the gift of a Savior,
through whom you offer us
the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation.
As we partake of this holy meal,
bless us this morning with unity of Spirit
and the knowledge of Christ’s presence in our midst.
Strengthen us as we continue our Lenten journey
that we may arrive at Easter with renewed hearts.
This we ask in Christ’s holy Name. Amen.