Worship Connection: March 15, 2020

February 6th, 2020

Third Sunday in Lent

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

The theme for Lent: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AT THE CROSS

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

CALLS TO WORSHIP

Call to Worship #1:

L: Come, let us sing to the Lord!
P: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
L: Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving!
P: Let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise!
L: Come, let us worship and celebrate God’s loving presence with us.
P: We sing to God with our hearts and our spirits. AMEN.

Call to Worship #2:

L: When we hunger
P: We cry to the Lord, “Help us, O Lord.”
L: When we thirst
P: We cry to the Lord, “Help us, O Lord.”
L: God who created the heavens and the earth hears our cries.
P: Lord, come and quench our thirst and heal our hunger. AMEN.

Call to Worship #3:

[Using THE FAITH WE SING, p. 2132, “You Who Are Thirsty,” offer the following call to worship as directed.] [Have a soloist sing “You Who Are Thirsty” through twice, so that the bridge “He will freely feed; all of them who are weak,” etc, may be heard.]

L: We come to the well of fear and doubt.
P: We have drawn deeply of those waters.
L: We come to the well of anger and hate.
P: These waters flourish in all the land.
L: Lord, bring us to the water of peace and hope.
P: Lord, bring us to the well of salvation. AMEN.

Soloist: singing “You Who Are Thirsty”

Call to Worship #4:

L: Jesus bids us welcome. He brings peace and forgiveness.
P: Yet we dwell in the midst of doubt and fear.
L: Jesus bids us welcome. He brings hope and healing.
P: But we persist in our ways of stubbornness and greed.
L: Jesus, come among us once more and bring us your word of Peace.
P: Open our hearts, our spirits, our souls to receive your healing Word. AMEN.

PRAYERS, READING, BENEDICTION

Opening Prayer

Wellspring of eternal life, we come to you this day having drunk deeply the waters of anxiety and despair. Bring to us your living water. Quench our thirsting souls, for we offer this prayer in Your Name. AMEN.

Prayer of Confession

God of living waters, we confess that we have often turned from you and wandered in our own wildernesses of fear and doubt. Our thirst mounts daily, seeking to be quenched by your redeeming love. Yet, when that love is offered to us, we again turn away, unable to truly believe that you would actually heal and love us. We have behaved in very unloving ways. We have chosen to ignore those in need or to deal only passively with them. Our hearts are not placed in service to others, but rather in self-serving motives. Heal us, merciful God. Wash us again in the living water. Help us be faithful servants. AMEN

Words of Assurance

The waters of mercy and healing are poured over you. God is loving and faithful to those who come to God. Come, seek the loving presence and be healed. AMEN.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord of living water, pour your mercy on us. Wash us clean and make us true disciples. Help us move from the paths of selfishness and stubbornness, to the channels of hope and peace. Enable us to place our whole trust in your love. As we have brought the names of those near and dear to us to your throne of grace in prayer, remind us again that you also hold us dearly and offer to us your healing grace. Keep us strong and give us courage to serve you in all that we do. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.

Readers’ Theater: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AT THE CROSS: THE WOMAN AT THE WELL

[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. The purple fabric, worn last week by Nicodemus, is removed from the cross and draped down the left front of the worship center, slightly overlapping the black fabric of Satan].

Narrator: Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water.

Jesus: Give me a drink.

Woman: How is it that you, a Jew, are asking a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?

Jesus: If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

Woman: Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where will you get the living water? This is the well of our ancestor Jacob. Are you greater than Jacob?

Jesus: Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.

Woman: Sir, give me this water so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.

Jesus: Go, and call your husband and come back.

Woman: I have no husband.

Jesus: You have told the truth. You have had five husbands and the one you now have is not your husband.

Woman: You must be a prophet! I have a question for you. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.

Jesus: Believe me, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Woman: I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.

Jesus: I am he, the one who is speaking to you.

Narrator: Just then his disciples, who had gone into town to get some food, returned to Jesus and were astonished that he was having a conversation with the woman. The woman left her water jar and went back to the city to tell the people to come and see a man who had told her everything that she had ever done. And the people came back with her to the well. The disciples meanwhile tried to encourage Jesus to have something to eat, but he replied to their queries

Jesus: My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, "Four months more, then comes the harvest"? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, "One sows and another reaps." I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.

Narrator: Many of the Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”

Benediction

Drink deeply of the waters of Salvation and quench your thirst for truth, for the Lord is with you. Go in God’s peace and bring the good news to all whom you meet. AMEN.

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

The traditional color for today is: Purple; I am also using “character” colors in the worship setting. [The large wooden cross, suggested in the Readers’ Theater segment, is placed in the worship center. Burlap covers the base of the cross.]

SURFACE: There are no risers on the worship center.

FABRIC: Cover the worship center with purple fabric so that it drapes to the floor but does not puddle on the floor. Place the purple fabric on the worship center, slightly overlapping the black cloth from last week. These fabrics should puddle on the floor.

CANDLES: Place two candles on the worship center, on either side of an open Bible.

FLOWERS/PLANTS: No plants are suggested for this setting.

ROCKS/WOOD: No rocks and wood are suggested for this setting.

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

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