Narrative Lectionary 1/23/22 John 3:1-23 resources

Call to Worship and Rite of Confession for John 3:1-23. Also hymns–a lot because we are singing only one verse in hopes people can do that without words in front of them; probably will be online only due to >30% positivity rate. This is Ordination/Installation of officers for us (postponed from 1/9).

Here’s our plan for that part: Since we’ll likely be Facebook only on 1/23, lend us a hand in support of new deacons (names given here) and freshly installed elders (names given here too). Stop by the church to make a paper handprint with your name and/or a message or mail/drop off your paper handprint to the office. You can also have us make one for you. Call or email us with your name and/or any message

HYMN #376 Love Divine, All Loves Excelling


We come in darkness                                                             and meet Jesus.

We come in darkness                                     and see the Kingdom of God.

We come in darkness                                                       and are born anew.

We come in darkness                                               and receive God’s love.

We come in darkness                                                   and leave in the light.


HYMN #304: Jesus Loves Me




O Jesus, when we think we have you all figured out, forgive us.

When we cannot see your Kingdom, forgive us.

When we think being born once is good enough, forgive us.

When we do not see where the Spirit comes from and where it goes, forgive us.

When we do not hear your testimony, forgive us.

When we find earthly things unbelievable, forgive us.

When we do not recognize you as the one from heaven, forgive us.

When we live in our own darkness instead of your light, forgive us.

                                     ~~SILENT CONFESSION~~                                                 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS (John 3:16-17) 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 

Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

HYMN # 485 To God Be the Glory

HYMN #525 Here I Am, Lord

CLOSING HYMN #398 There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit

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Narrative Lectionary John 2:13-25 Liturgical Pieces

Image from Christ Overturning the Money Changer’s Table, 1921 – Stanley Spencer – Public Domain US    Jesus poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. John 2:16

                      GATHERING AROUND THE WORD


WELCOME & ANNOUNCEMENTS                                                         


Lord Jesus,

Make this, your Father’s House, a place of prayer for all people.  Grant us the strength and wisdom to be a people consumed with prayer and zeal for you, this day and always. Amen.                                

HYMN of PRAISE # 291 O God of Earth and Altar




Jesus, cleanser of temples and souls, look deep within our hearts and our lives,  and clear away all that holds us back.

When our minds, spirits and bodies are not your Temple, open to Your presence, forgive us, Lord.

When our church does not clearly demonstrate your love and care, forgive us, Lord.

When we hide, rather than proclaim, your gospel, forgive us, Lord.

When our words and our actions do not shout your love and truth, forgive us, Lord.

In this moment of silence, we name those things for which we seek your cleansing and healing, so that we may be more faithful disciples.

                         ~~SILENT CONFESSION~~                                                 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS John 1:19, 34 John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [for] this is the Son of God.Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.





HYMN # 334 When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land

SERMON  Zeal for God’s House   

Musical Meditation                                            James C. Bosworth


When the world, in its sophistication and pride,
made an idol of money and a marketplace of God’s temple,
using God’s name to further their own interests,
God sent the Son, Jesus Christ
, filled with zeal for God’s honor.

He was torn down by the fury of evil and corruption,
but rose again in three days,
forever establishing the foolishness and weakness of God
as the pathway of life and salvation.






*CLOSING HYMN #332 Live into Hope



NARRATIVE LECTIONARY Gospel of John Worship/Sermon Plan through 2nd Sunday of Easter 2022

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December 19 4th Sunday of Advent: The Incarnation of Love. John 1:1-18 

January 9 John the Baptist/Baptism of Jesus: I am not He. John 1:18-34

January 16 MLK Jesus Cleanses the Temple John 2:13-25 (Psalm 127:1-2)

January 23 ORDINATION/INSTALLATION Nicodemus Being born anew, God’s love for the world. John 3:1-21 (Psalm 139:13-18)  

January 30  CONGREGATIONAL MEETING The Woman at the Well;  living water and true worship. John 4:1-42 (Psalm 42:1-3)

February 6 COMMUNION  Bread of Life discourse John 6:35-59  (Psalm 34:1-10)

February 13 Rev. David Jones preaching

February 20 PRESIDENTS’ DAY The Good Shepherd Ash Wednesday John 10:1-18 Jesus as gate and good shepherd, who lays down his life. (Psalm 23)

February 27 TRANSFIGURATION The Man Born Blind John 9:1-41 Jesus is the light of the world – brings light to the eyes of a man born blind. (Psalm 27:1-4)

Ash Wednesday?

March 6 COMMUNION/FIRST SUNDAY of LENT  Jesus Washes Feet Second Sunday in Lent John 13:1-17 Footwashing as a sign of Jesus’ love and example. (Psalm 51:7-12)

March 13 SECOND SUNDAY of LENT Peter’s Denial Second Sunday in Lent John 18:12-27 Jesus’ trial before Annas,. (Psalm 17:1-7)

March 20 THIRD SUNDAY of LENT Jesus and Pilate John 18:28-40 My kingdom is not from this world. (Psalm 145:10-13)

March 27 FOURTH SUNDAY of LENT Jesus Condemned John 19:1-16a Jesus is condemned, they have no king but Caesar. (Psalm 146)

April 3 FIFTH SUNDAY of LENT Triumphal Entry John 12:12-27

April 10 SIXTH SUNDAY of LENT John 19:23-30 Woman, behold your son; I thirst; It is finished. (Psalm 26:3)

Maundy Thursday?

Good Friday?

April 17 EASTER Resurrection of Our Lord John 20:1-18 Empty tomb, Jesus calls Mary by name. (Psalm 118:21-29)

April 24 Thomas Second Sunday of Easter John 20:19-31 Jesus gives Spirit, appears to Thomas. (Psalm 145:13-21)

John 1:1-14 Sermon: Love Incarnate, Love Divine

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John 1:1-18 NRSV

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,[d] full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart,[f] who has made him known.


Did you know that each gospel has its own way of introducing Jesus?

Matthew does genealogy

Mark has John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness

Luke tells of angels, of Zechariah and Elizabeth, and then Joseph and Mary

And John, John goes way back

John goes way back to begin again at the very beginning

Not, like the church year, starting by leading up to the birth of the baby Jesus

But with—before!—the very beginning of the world itself

We have had a series of passages addressing God’s Word

Here we have a passage addressing Jesus as God’s Word

The efficacious Word—

the Word that does things

the Word that creates

the Word that sustains

And, John says, this Word becomes a human being


                                                                 and dwells among us

This time of year, we spend time re-counting the Christmas story

            Mary and Joseph and the baby born in the manger

            Shepherds in the fields called by angels

            Magi summoned by a star

But John takes us into the meaning of it all, into the incarnation

When I was in seminary, a prof of mine had the audacity to put on his exam a new question

Something we hadn’t studied/read about/discussed!

He said, “Most churches emphasize the incarnation, the crucifixion or the resurrection.”

It is rare for churches to place an equal emphasis on all three

What does your church emphasize?

What is least emphasized?

And what is missing because of that?

For me the answer was “incarnation”

And the question and its answer kicked off a lifelong journey to discover what this Jesus-in-the-flesh thing means

For me, for the church, and for the world

One thing it means is that Jesus gets it

            He knows how it is

            He knows how it feels

            He lived it

            And he lives it again-still-yet

                         dwells among us

                           walking with/alongside/among us

The word for “dwell”, for living among us (v.14) is the word used in the Greek translation of the OT

for God tabernacling with God’s people

            As in, y’know, the tabernacle–

                        the place where God took up residence

      where God could be found

      where the people met God

And while we tend to think of a dwelling place as relatively fixed

This dwelling place was movable, portable, mobile

And so this dwelling also has the sense of “tenting” among us

                                                                                       of being folded up

    and taken with God’s people wherever they/we go

                                                                        (see last week’s sermon)      

Eugene Peterson has this as “The Word became flesh and blood,
                                                       and moved into the neighborhood.”

Note that this would be any/all neighborhoods–even “that” neighborhood

A while back there was a story in Good Housekeeping in which

the Jesus from the church’s Nativity kept going missing

and showing up in other places

            the homeless shelter        

            the other side of the tracks

            the housing for those escaping domestic violence

            the prison

Showing up, y’know, where Jesus is

                                       where Jesus calls us to be

We can be in those places because Jesus is with us;


            the life (v. 4)

            the life that is the light (also v. 4)

            the  light that shines in the darkness and is not overcome by it (v.5)

Some of our most treasured Christmas traditions revolve around light

For me, these include

the literal wearing of a headband of candles by girls in Sweden when I was there for  Santa Lucia

the lights show at Wanamaker’s (although some claim it is no longer called this…)

driving through whatever lights-in-the-park are to be found wherever I am living

           and the lighting of candles during Silent Night

Verse three, when we traditionally  lift our lighted candles high, emphasizes Jesus as the light

            Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light,

            Radiant beams from Thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace

            Jesus, Lord at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord at Thy birth.

And verse two notes that “Shepherds quake at the sight,

                                           Glories stream from heaven above.”

Glory is one of John’s favorite themes—

(We will see this in 2022 as we take a journey through John with the Narrative Lectionary.)

And, for John, glory is entwined with

                                        intimately connected to

                                        sometimes almost the same as

                                               God’s love

I’m trying to think if we conflate these two in other ways—glory and love

Do we think of someone in love as reflecting a kind of glory

            Although we wouldn’t usually use the word “glory” for someone in love

We talk spark, sparkle, glow, light, so maybe we do get a glimpse of glory and love together in human love

Interestingly, the image of love in this passage of John is that of the love between parent and child

            Jesus is the only one begotten/born of God (v.12) 

            Who is close to the Father (v.18)

                          “in the bosom of the Father”

                         “in the lap of the Father”

And Jesus makes it possible for us to also be children of God

                        Not born in the typical way

As Peterson puts it in The Message,

These are  not blood-begotten,
                                not flesh-begotten,
                               not sex-begotten.

They are the God-begotten,

made to be their true selves                                                                                                       

their child-of-God selves

            Made so by the indwelling


                                        tenting of Jesus

                                                            God with us

As children of God who have Jesus dwelling with and among us

we see Jesus’ glory

                                                                        his grace and truth

                                                           we   receive from his fullness

                                                                                         grace upon grace

The Greek word here for grace is the one applied

to gracious gifts of God in the Greek translation of the Old Testament

gifts given as a demonstration of grace

                        a sign of favor

                        from a generous and loving heart

God grant that we receive what is offered to us this Christmas

            Jesus himself

            In the “froggy” flesh, dwelling within and among us

            As the light that cannot be extinguished

                                          is not overcome no matter how dark the darkness

                                         who makes God—and God’s love—known

Thanks be to God.

John 1:19-34 Sermon: “I am not He…”

Image from

John 1:19-34 NRSV19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said,

“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.

24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.

29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.  33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”                                              

                           This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

If you’ve gotten a chance to page through the newsletter (!)

            you will notice that we are embarking on a journey through the Gospel of John (through Easter)

And if, like me, you’ve been at churches that have used the Revised Common Lectionary

            This will be new to you

            As that lectionary sprinkles some of John across Sundays leading up to Easter

            Without providing any sustained attention or treatment to the entire Gospel

I likely have noted before that the Narrative Lectionary is intended to tell the whole story of the Gospel

            By using a single focus passage from one Gospel in the early part of the year through Lent

            (and from the Old Testament in the Fall of the year)

Originally intended to provide a full scope introduction to the Good News of God to those not familiar with it

            The churches I have served have also appreciated the chance to hear a different set of readings

            Especially as, if you’ve been in the church most of your life and you are over 60,

            You’ve likely been through the usual lectionary at least 13 times!

The Gospel of John has the reputation of being more “spiritual” than the other three “Synoptic” Gospels

But of course this is an over-simplification

            Certainly Matthew, Mark and Luke intend not just to tell stories of Jesus

            But for those stories to impact our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit

And John contains some of the longest stories of what Jesus said and did during his ministry

            Stories that we will be examining in the weeks and months ahead

Our journey meeting Jesus with and through John began the last Sunday of December 19th

When we took up the Prologue of John (1:1-14)

            The Word was with God and the Word was God

            The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not (does not/cannot) overcome it

Today we have the rest of John 1, following up on the part of the Prologue that says

            John was not the light, but he bore testimony to the light (1:8)

            With John himself noting that he is not “the one”

Asked if he is the Messiah, John says he is not (v.20)

Then he is asked if he is Elijah. And he says he is not (v.21)

Then he is asked if he is “the prophet.” And he says he is not (also v. 21)

And when they ask again, “Well, then, who are you?”

He says he is the voice of one crying in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord

            (We were just in the desert near Albuquerque where there are a huge number of petroglyphs

            of course you can make a straight road there; there’s almost nothing there!)

and he points them forward (and back) to Jesus,

            who baptizes not with water but with the Holy Spirit

And this is the role of all of us—to point forward and backward to Jesus

          We are not “the One”

            We are not the Messiah

            We are not Jesus

            We are not Elijah

            We are not the prophet

This is why there is such a thing as a “Messiah complex”

While not found in the official book of mental illness diagnoses

            (the DSM: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

This vernacular shorthand for focuses on what it means

            to think I am the Messiah

           to believe I am the One

                                             the ONLY one who can do what I’m doing

When we say “Messiah complex,” usually being the Messiah means

            being the most important, best-est, most put-upon, most maligned servant of all

            such that all others must appreciate, be grateful for, and bow down to us

            believing no one else can do what we are trying to do, or at least not as well

            and presuming that there is no actual other Messiah

                                        that God does not have this covered

                                        that God cannot tap someone else to do whatever

                                        or that the world will end if this particular thing does not get done

Now sometimes, of course, people err on the other side

            exempting ourselves from service, especially from any kind of hard service

            figuring it’s never our job to do the nasty, unappreciated grunt work that may really need to be done

In either case,  rather than trying to suss out where others fall on this spectrum,

            we are called to look to ourselves

            and to the example of John the Baptist, who points to Jesus.

This is discipleship, following Jesus and pointing others to do the same

            (One theologian referred to it as a beggar showing another beggar where to find bread.)

And this is church leadership, following Jesus and pointing others to do the same.

            This means the ultimate arbiter of decisions for the church is God.

            Hence the every-meeting-must-open-and-close-in-prayer practice.

In fact, our polity even explicitly notes that elected officers do not represent their constituencies

            Instead, our deacons and elders are to vote their conscience, their understanding of God’s leading

            And we are counseled to trust God to work in and through this process

            And as officers promise in our ordination and installation services to serve God

            The congregants promise to support them, pray for them, and abide by their decisions

Now of course this means that we still go to bat for what we believe God is calling us to be/do

            While hearing from our fellow travelers what they hear/see/experience and believe

            Holding our opinions (and theirs) with an open hand

            This means that we do not say  “My way or the highway,” as though we have a corner on God’s will

            In fact, what we believe to be God’s will must be confirmed by others

(That’s why we have a “three-part” call system

            A candidate for pastor or for an office must hear the call themselves

            And the church itself must also hear that call for them

            And, for pastors, the presbytery also must confirm that call)

Because we understand that if it’s God will, more than one person should hear it

            Otherwise the body is not going to go in that direction.

At times, the lone voice crying in the wilderness turns out, in retrospect, to have been right

But that doesn’t give anyone, the person crying out or those disagreeing,

            permission to act in ways that are hateful or disrespectful

            Instead, we are called to love, perseverance, and listening

And, if things do not go the way we think that they should,

            we are called to view those on the other side as still children of God

                                    to recognize that we ourselves could be wrong

                                    and to discern what to do next

God does not give up on us when we are sure we are right

God does not give up on us when we are wrong

God does not give up on us when we are not sure

            God does not give up on us

Sometimes, as humans,

            there are times when we are called upon to walk away

            but sometimes we are called upon to trust that God is at work

            even if we don’t get it, we don’t agree, we wish it could be some other way

And of course, this is not so different from the whole Christian life

            A life in which we trust that God is at work

            That the straight way that runs through the desert will get us to where God wants us to go

            That even when we can’t see around the next bend, God is still with us every step of the way

            Where, even if we (or they) make a wrong choice, God can cover that

Because even the Herods of this world cannot overcome the revelation of God’s love and grace in Jesus

Because the light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it

Because God’s love is at work among and through and despite us

Because the Lamb of God comes to take away the sins of the world

Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!

Let us pray (prayer from by our daughter, Rev. Katy Stenta)

John 1:19-34 Narrative Lectionary

For us, this begins our journey through John. It is also the day we plan to ordain/install officers; hence, the focuse on we are not the Messiah!

Photo credit:

Call to Worship (Isaiah 40:3-5)

One: A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
Many: Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,


HYMN of PRAISE # 420 God of Grace and God of Glory




God, you call us to look beyond ourselves to point to you.

Sometimes we say to the world, “Look! Look at me!” instead.

Forgive us when we do not point to you.

God, you call us to look beyond what is around is to point to you.

Sometimes we look around us and sink into frustration and despair.

Forgive us when we do not point to you.

God, you call us to direct others to you, all of us in need helping each other find the way to you. Sometimes we try to solve others’ problems ourselves, or ignore their needs since we do not see how we can help.

Forgive us when we do not point to you.

                         ~~SILENT CONFESSION~~                                                 

ASSURANCE OF FORGIVENESS John 1:19, 34 John saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” [for] this is the Son of God.Thanks be to God for the Good News: In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

HYMN # 426 Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak

SERMON  I Am Not He    

*CLOSING HYMN #425 Lord of Light, Your Name Outshining

Psalm 23: KJV and the Message

Psalm 23                                King James/The Message

Choose to read one or the other—or both!

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.               

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.                              

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;

   he leadeth me beside the still waters.                                 

You have bedded me down in lush meadows                  

   you find me quiet pools to drink from.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths

    of righteousness for his name’s sake.                                    

True to your word, you let me catch my breath

    and send me in the right direction.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow                      

   of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;                                                                             

Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
   I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.                 

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence                        

   of mine enemies.                                                         

You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil;

    my cup runneth over.

You revive my drooping head;

    my cup brims with blessing

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.                                                                                         

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.                                                       

I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

Gathering & Gospelling Introductory Letter


Hello Friend!

 We are entering into a 6 week series based upon two books "The Art of Gathering" by Priya Parker and "Unbinding the Gospel" by Martha Grace Reese.

Our Purpose: To Gather to experience God’s Presence, and to Invite others to the do the same.

To Create a Space for this we will:
Ask you to Pray in Church and at Home; for the Church and for all those we meet
Creative Worship: Engage with the differences with worship creatively, remember its only 6 weeks.
Spend some time Reflecting on Questions to ourselves in an act of Confession
Pray Some More, Lean on God, Trust God wants this to be done
Participate in a Community Creating Activity during Worship
Study a Verse at Home: Read it, Journal it, Draw it, Memorize it, Engage in a way that works for you!
Do some Homework to continue your journey

I am…

View original post 91 more words

I’ve Been Meaning to Ask: Where are you from?

This sermon/worship series is found at Please do not use these materials, which are based on their materials by Rev. Sarah Are, unless you have purchased the original material from them. You can buy just the Worship Words portion for a small fee.

FULL bulletin is at!AuB3z496aTHTgdp5vu-HQT_FctdBNw

SERMON is at!AuB3z496aTHTgdRT1li7u7o4K0BHYw

VIDEO of our service is at


Presbyterian Hymnal #306 Fairest Lord Jesus

PH #507 I Come with Joy

PH #288 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Call to Worship[1]

We are from north and south.

We are from here and we have come here.

We are from the town and from the countryside.

We are from small apartments and expansive houses.

We are from big families and dinners made for one.

We are from stages of grief and stages of love.

We are from rainy days and sunny days.

We are from new places, new spaces, and the making of new memories.

We are from kitchens with passed down recipes, and front porches with old, familiar swings.

We are from the dust of the earth and the stars of the sky.

We are from a lot of places, but today we are here.

Today we are together.


Call to Confession1

In this moment for truth telling, for reflection and honesty, to be honest about the places we want to grow and the way we need God’s help, let us pray together.

Prayer of Confession was taken directly from Worship Words from A Sanctified Art for this series

Assurance of Forgiveness1

If you ever ask yourself, “Can anything good come from this messy and human life of mine?” remember God always answers, “Yes.” You were created in the image of God. Your origin story is one of goodness and love from the very beginning. So hear and believe the good news of the gospel: God is here. God is at work among us. Thanks be to God for the Good News of God’s love:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Prayer for Illumination1

O God, where we come from there are so many distractions. Where we come from there is so much noise. Where we come from there is too much silence. Where we come from there is too much emptiness. Find us. Hold us. Be in these words. Help us hear. Amen.

Old Testament Scripture: Genesis 2:4b-15

New Testament Scripture: John 1:35-51



The Creator of North, South, East, and West, invites us to come and see—

Come and see how much the Father loves us.

Come and see who Jesus is and who we are in him.

Come and be united by the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray…


P:         The Lord be with you.             C:         And also with you.

P:         Lift up your hearts.                 C:         We lift them up to the Lord

P:         Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
C:         It is right to give our thanks and praise.

O God, open our lips and fill our hearts to say thank you.

Thank you for scooping up the dirt and breathing life into it.

Thank you for forming this body and this life.

Thank you for creating this world and these people.

Thank you for drawing us in, for holding us up.

Weave us together with all people from all times and places

who forever sing the glory of your name

All:   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might; heaven

and earth are full of Your glory.  Hosanna in the highest! 

Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord,  Hosanna in the highest!

When people ask, “Where are you from?” we speak of geography—

yet we must also always sing your name.

for you are our past, our present, and our future.

Great is this mystery of faith:

Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.

As we lift this bread and cup before you, lift us up.

Scoop us up like you scooped up that dirt on that first day.

As you breathed life into the first human being,

breathe upon us and fill us with your Spirit.

Feed us that we may be full.

Nourish us as only you can

and make us at home in you.  Amen.

Confession of Faith  (adapted from the Heidelberg Catechism Questions 26-28 )

God created us good and in his own image. God created us in true righteousness and holiness. God created us that we might truly know God our creator. God created us to love God with all their heart. God created us to live with God in eternal happiness, and to praise and glorify God. God out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them. God still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence. God is my God and Father because of Christ the Son.

God will provide whatever I need for body and soul. God will turn to my good whatever adversity befalls me. God is able to do this because he is almighty God. God desires to do this because he is a faithful Father. We can be patient when things go against us. We can be thankful when things go well. We can have good confidence for the future that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. Thanks be to God.


Family of faith, God stir you up with the curiosity to counter assumptions. God beget in you the vulnerability to befriend. God excite in you the bravery to speak your truth. God develop in you the wisdom to listen. God engender in you the strength to ask for help. God give rise to the resiliency that makes you able to choose love. In the name of the One who made you, the One who redeems you, and the One who accompanies you. Amen.

[1] Adapted from a prayer by Rev. Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC |

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