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Hey Neighbor: 21st Century Worship Resources for the Third Sunday of Lent, Year B

Gathering Meditation: Hey Neighbor
(Based on Exodus 20:1-7)
Before, everyday was predictable. We worked, for someone else, who didn't pay us or appreciate us -- that was normal. We adjusted, learned how to meet each demand, even when we had to make bricks without straw. Our diet never changed, onions and leeks and what nobody else wanted, but that was normal.

Then God delivered us from slavery and set us free in the wilderness; and we complained that it was better in Egypt. Doubt and deceit crept in and lived among us. We wondered whether or not we could trust one another. So God had to teach us how to live as neighbors instead of oppressors. God made it simple:

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an idol.
  3. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet . . . anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Hey neighbor, "Can't we just get along?"

Call to Worship
(Based on Psalm 19)

One: If you listen
Many: You'll hear Heaven tell it.

One: If you listen
Many: You'll hear the Earth shout it.

One: If you listened long enough
Many: You'd know Day learned how to speak about it.

One: If you listened quietly enough
Many: You'd hear Last Night telling Tonight about it.

One: What would we hear?
Many: Tell us!

One: What would we hear?
Many: Tell us!

One: We'd hear all creation say
Many: God's ways are more precious than gold.

One: We'd hear all creation declare
Many: God's ways are sweeter than the honey in the honeycomb.

One: Now open your hearts and pray with all of creation.
All: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

(Optional: Instead of speaking the last line, sing: "Let The Words of My Mouth" from the African American Heritage Hymnal (AAH) #390)

Pastoral Prayer
(Based on 1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

As we approach your throne of grace, our ears burn, Lord. We hear the endless noise of hot debate. Some spout doom and gloom. Some tear down others' efforts to build up. Some hope a few will fail rather than praying many will succeed. So much noise masquerading as truth.

Remind us that you will destroy the wisdom of the self-proclaimed wise. Remind us that you make foolish the wisdom of the world. Remind us that God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom and God's weakness is stronger than human strength. We gather today, "foolish enough" to believe you rather than the noise of this world.

Source: The Africana Worship Book for Year B. Used with permission.

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