Call to Worship
One voice: The Lord has a shelter for you!
Many voices: Abide in the shadow of the Most High.
One voice: The Lord has refuge for you!
Many voices: Abide in the fortress of your God.
One voice: The Lord has a safe place for you!
Many voices: Abide in the presence of the Lord.
One voice: The presence of the Lord is here.
Many voices: Let us bring the first fruits of praise and worship.
Many voices in song: "O Magnify the Lord for he is worthy to be praised."
(By Michael O'Shields, CCLI Song # 11263)
Prayers of Confession
O God, we gather in your presence today to praise you for being our refuge and fortress. Like Jesus, we are constantly tempted with the hunger for power, possessions, and protection. Sometimes, when we are in a state of financial, emotional, or spiritual wilderness, we give in to some of the temptations that come our way. Forgive us, we pray. Teach us to find refuge in you. Help us to avoid being possessed by our possessions. Instead, may we offer you the first fruits of our blessings. May we, during this season of Lent, hook-up with your power through self-examination and spiritual transformation. Bring us out of Egypt-land! Bring us through the wilderness-land! Bring us into the promised-land. O God of power, possession, and protection, your name be praised, AMEN.
O Lord, we have failed to bring you the first of all our blessings. We have been slow to come to the place you have chosen as a dwelling for your name. We have been intoxicated by a hunger for power, possessions, and protection. We have been dehydrated by injustice. We are misguided and deluded. As former aliens in this land of milk and honey, we have continued the cycle of discrimination and the exploitation of new aliens and strangers. Forgive us, we pray. Refresh us for justice and compassion. Make us sober for sacrificial service. Guide us again through your Word, your Will, and your Way.
Words of Assurance
(Option for youth and young adult:
When you give the Lord a cry-out, God will holla' back.
When you give the God of your ancestors a shout-out, God will feel you.)
The One who led you from oppression to liberation now invites you into self-examination and transformation. Because you are a V.I.P., you don't need to R.S.V.P. For "everyone who calls on the name of the lord shall be saved." In the name of the alien and stranger who became the chief Cornerstone, you are forgiven.
Go now edified by the Holy Spirit,
with the power to glorify God,
unify the Body, and horrify the devil!!!!