Worship Elements: March 19, 2017

February 6th, 2017

Third Sunday in Lent

COLOR: Purple
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42

THEME IDEAS

Hope can be in short supply when you are wandering in the desert not knowing if or when you will arrive at your destination; when you are a woman shunned by your community; when your community is not listening to God’s voice. But hope takes many forms—water in the desert, living water at a well, encountering a person who changes your life, knowing a God who has created everything and loves all that has been created.

INVITATION AND GATHERING

Call to Worship (Psalm 95, Romans 5)

O come, let us sing to our God
and make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation.
We lift our hearts and voices
in joy and thanksgiving
for being here together
in the presence of our beloved God.
Come, let us worship this amazing God,
for we belong to God.
We will listen for God’s word
and live in the hope it inspires.

Opening Prayer (Exodus 17, Romans 5, John 4)

Loving and caring God,
we come this morning in hope—
hope that will sustain us in our trying times,
our lonely times, our doubting times.
Refresh us this morning with the living water
of your presence and love.
Open us to the possibilities of friendship—
the possibilities of encountering you
in unexpected ways,
the possibilities of seeing the miraculous
in everyday life. Amen.

PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE

Prayer of Confession (Exodus 17)

Patient and ever-faithful God,
we come to you this morning
confessing that we can be a grumpy
and unsatisfied people.
When things are not perfect in our eyes,
we murmur and complain,
and grumble and doubt.
We lose hope in the people around us
and, even worse, we lose hope in you.
We challenge instead of accept.
We put you to the test
rather than trust your caring love.
Forgive our doubts and complaining.
Forgive our loss of hope.
Let your healing, life-giving waters pour over us.
Restore our souls. Amen.

Words of Assurance (Exodus 17, Romans 5, John 4)

Our hope and assurance
rest in God’s unfailing love and forgiveness.
Open your hearts and minds and souls
that the healing waters
of God’s never-ending love and forgiveness
may flow into and over you.
Know that in this love and forgiveness
you have encountered the living God.

Passing the Peace (Romans 5, John 4)

Let us greet one another with words of hope—words that come from the wellspring of love flowing within us because of our encounter with the living Christ.

Response to the Word (Romans 5, John 4)

For the word of hope that pours over us
like living water,
for the word of grace that leads us to encounter
the living Christ,
we offer you our thanks, O God.

THANKSGIVING AND COMMUNION

Invitation to the Offering (Romans 5, John 4)

We are called to live in hope and to share this hope with the world. Let us offer thanks to God for all God has given us by sharing generously of ourselves and of our resources. Through our gifts, may all experience the hope to be found in our life-giving God.

Offering Prayer (Exodus 17, John 4)

Life-giving God,
we offer you ourselves and our resources.
Use us and our gifts,
that we may be water bearers
to a world thirsty for love,
for meaning, for justice, and for hope.
May all your people encounter fullness of life
through the love of Christ, which lives within us.
Amen.

SENDING FORTH

Benediction (Exodus 17, Romans 5, John 4)

We have encountered the living God
through the love of the living Christ.
We have been refreshed by living water.
Go now to live in the hope this encounter inspires.
Be water bearers to a dry and parched world,
knowing that the God of love and hope
goes before you and with you always. Amen.

CONTEMPORARY OPTIONS

Gathering Words (Exodus 17, Romans 5, John 4)

Come and see . . . water gushing from a rock.
Come and see . . . someone who knows you
through and through.
Come and see . . . hope alive, right here, right now.
Come and see . . . then give God thanks and praise.
We come to worship the God of life and love.

Praise Sentences (Psalm 95)

Sing praise to God!
Our God is a great God!
Come worship and kneel before God our maker!


From The Abingdon Worship Annual edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu, Copyright © Abingdon Press. The Abingdon Worship Annual 2017 is now available.

About the Author

Joanne Carlson Brown

Rev. Dr. Joanne Carlson Brown is pastor at Tibbetts United Methodist Church in West Seattle. She earned an M.Div read more…
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