21st Century Worship Resources for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C
Call to Worship
by The Rev. Dr. Kwasi I. Kena
(from the Africana Worship Book for Year C)
(Based on John 12:1–8)
[Optional: Have one or more people process into the sanctuary with lighted incense during the Call to Worship. Be sure to consider ventilation issues for members with respiratory disorders.]
One: Six days before the Passover, Martha served Jesus dinner at Lazarus' house. There, Mary took a pound of costly perfume and anointed Jesus' feet.
Many: What's that in the air?
One: Mary poured her perfume on Jesus' feet and then wiped his feet with her hair!
Many: She filled the air with the fragrance of her worship.
One: The prayers of the saints are like rising incense before God.
Many: The fragrance of their worship fills the air.
One: Today, let us raise a praise that touches the heart of God.
Many: Let the fragrance of our worship fill the air.
One: Let the fragrance of our worship fill the air!
All: God, we offer our praise as a sweet fragrance that aspires to heaven.
May the fragrance of our worship fill the air!
Followed by song and/or liturgical dance: "Breathe" by Marie Barnett, (see Byron Cage, An Invitation to Worship)
The bell of change is pealing --
Its vacillating tongue laden with a six-word message --
"I am doing a new thing!"
A compelling chime, drawing our attention
To a six-lettered word called change.
We see the bell, we hear its sound but our defiance obliterates its message.
These hushed moments are intimidating!
Has this iron emissary given up its quest
To peal its appeal to our concrete walls of indifference?
The sound returns, ferocious and determined to carry on its duty!
This messenger will not sit idle until we comprehend
Its six-lettered, six-worded message!
Our ears are suddenly unstopped --
We realize this message predicates God's Word, God's Will.
And then . . . awe.