Worship Connection: March 1, 2020

February 2nd, 2020

First Sunday in Lent

COLOR: Purple
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11


Each week a script will be provided, following the Gospel lesson, concerning those whom Jesus met.



Call to Worship #1:

L: Happy are the people whose sins are forgiven!
P: God’s forgiveness is poured on them as a healing balm.
L: Happy are the people who place their trust in God.
P: God’s presence is their guide and their strength.
L: Come, let us worship the God who forgives and heals us.
P: Let us celebrate God’s presence with us each day. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:

L: Today the journey begins. Are you ready?
P: There is so much I still have to do. I am not sure I’ll ever be ready.
L: Let go of those things THAT chain you to despair.
P: Lord, help me look and see the ways in which I have abandoned you.
L: Come, let us worship and feel the power of freedom in God.
P: Open our hearts today to receive your freeing love, O Lord. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2055, “You Are My Hiding Place,” offer the following call to worship as directed.]

L: The path is unknown to us, O Lord. We fear the journey.
P: There may be hidden dangers, discoveries that we dread.
L: Help us, Lord. Be with us.
P: Let us take the first step safely, we pray.

Choir: singing “You Are My Hiding Place”

L: You have been my hiding place.
P: Now you are calling me to leave this place and to take a risk
L: You sing to me of deliverance and hope.
P: Be with me, O Lord, I ask you.

Call to Worship #4:

L: We are people of impatient hungers.
P: We want to be filled with all good things immediately. We don’t want to wait.
L: We are people who seek power and authority.
P: We want to be in control, not to be controlled.
L: We are people whose individual safety is of highest concern.
P: Protect and guide us.
L: Stop our greed and selfishness, O Lord. Help us to listen to your words of comfort and hope.
P: Open us up to all the wonders of your love. Heal our hardened hearts. Give us lives of loving service to others. AMEN.


Opening Prayer

Lord, we are so tempted by everything we see; the glitz and glitter of the world and the get-rich-quick schemes are placed before us. We believe that if we just have enough money, enough friends, enough power, enough safety we will be OK. Show us how foolish we are to place our hope and trust in these things. Give us hearts for loving service in which we will find our strength, our courage, our security, our home. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

God of infinite patience and love, we come to you this day, having just gone through the season of greed. We embark on this Lenten journey not sure if we want to make the spiritual trip. It is easy for us to get caught up in our own needs and our own anxieties. We are a people of great “want,” and we need to become a people of great “faith.” Stop us and remove us from the self-destructive journey on which we were living. Place us on your track of hope and salvation. Forgive our stubbornness, and heal our sorrowful souls. For we ask this in Jesus’ Name. AMEN.

Words of Assurance

You are loved by God! And in that love rests all safety, security, comfort, and hope. Rest in God’s love. Prepare yourself for service to God who is ever faithful to you. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord, it seems as though Lent came too early this year. We wanted more time to recover from the activity and anxiety of Christmas, yet here we are: the first Sunday in Lent. Our hearts need cleansing, Lord. Our spirits need restoration and healing. During this season of Lent you send us on a journey to the cross with Jesus, and beyond the cross to the resurrection. We would just rather skip to the happiness of Easter and enjoy the flowers and all the trimmings, but you insist on the journey. We cannot truly understand the power of the resurrection until we have been to the cross. Today we travel to the cross where Jesus encounters Satan who flashes before him visions of power, wealth, and individual security. How shall we respond to those same temptations when they are presented so seductively to us? Help us, O Lord. Guide and restore us. Give us courage and strength as we journey to you. AMEN.


Each week a script will be provided, following the Gospel lesson, concerning those whom Jesus met.

[The large rough wooden cross is placed in the front of the chancel/worship area. Place burlap at the base to cover the stand. Have the same person read the part of Jesus each week. It should be someone with a good speaking voice. Each person who encounters Jesus will be wearing/carrying a length of cloth. When their encounter with Jesus is complete, they place the cloth over the arm of the cross and leave.

Today: Satan encounters Jesus. He will have a drape of black cloth over his shoulder, which he will place over the arm of the cross when the “temptation” is complete. Then he departs.]

Narrator: When Jesus had been baptized, he went to the wilderness to fast and pray. He fasted and prayed for forty days and forty nights and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and spoke to him. Satan: So you say you are the Son of God! You have been here a long time. You look hungry. How about a little bread? If you are the Son of God, you can command these stones here to become loaves of bread. Go ahead. Do it. It’s OK. It’s just a little bread, not a great feast. You will feel better when you have a little food in your stomach. Go ahead.

Jesus: It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Satan: Quoting scripture, huh? Well, if that’s the way you want it. Stay hungry.

Narrator: Then Satan took him to the holy city and placed him on the highest point of the Temple so that he could see all of Jerusalem.

Satan: Well if you don’t want bread, maybe there is something you do want--assurance. Son of God, throw yourself down from this high point, for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you” and “On their hands they will bear you up so that you will not even dash your foot against a stone.” How’s that for quoting scripture?

Jesus: Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

Narrator: Again Satan took him up to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

Satan: How about it, Jesus? Want a little power and wealth? Look at this! This is all mine to give. I have control over it all, and I can give it to whomever I choose. I choose to give it to you, and all you have to do is to bow down and worship me. Nothing fancy, just a little spiritual commitment. You can have it all. Think of all you could do with this wealth. You would never have to worry; you could take care of millions of people. After all that’s what you want to do, right? Just bow down and worship me.

Jesus: Get away from me, Satan. For it is written, “ Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”

[Satan takes the black cloth from his shoulder and places it over the arm of the cross. He pats the cross and then walks away.]

Narrator: And Satan shook his head, and walked away for a time. And God’s angels came and took care of Jesus.


Be with us, Lord, as we go from this place. Give us confidence in your loving presence, and help us witness to that love as we encounter others. AMEN.


The traditional color for today is: Purple, however, I am using “character” colors to represent each Sunday. The worship center may be draped in purple, if you wish.

[The large rough wooden cross is placed in the front of the chancel/worship area. Place burlap at the base to cover the stand.]

FABRIC: Purple cloth may be draped over the worship center. It should come to the floor but not be “puddled.”

CANDLES: Two candles may be placed on the worship center on either side of an open Bible.

OTHER: Place an open Bible in the center of the worship table.

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