Second Sunday in Lent | Accept — Order of Worship

March 12, 2017 (Year A) | Living Our Baptismal Calling Series

Order of Worship Preaching Hymns Music  Planning Formation Groups Resources

Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice,
and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?



Choir or ensemble processes in, leading the singing:
Medley: “Wade in the Water” and “Go Down, Moses”                   Arrangement: Jackson Henry

The pastor stands by the font and stirs up the water in it.
Pastor: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
People: We do with the help of God, by doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all people, by giving, visiting, instructing, reproving, and exhorting. 

The deacon or pastor then takes the Bible, and moves with other readers in the midst of the congregation, holding the Bible high, as the people sing as long as needed:
Wade in the water, wade in the water, children.
Wade in the water, God’s gonna trouble the water.


Reading                                                                                John 3:1-5, 14-17
                                                                                              (Translation, Taylor Burton-Edwards)
Reader 1: (Narrator)
Now there was a person named Nicodemus sent from the Pharisees, who were religious leaders among the Jewish people. He came toward Jesus at night and said to him:

Congregation: (Nicodemus)
Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God, because no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God were with him.

Reader 1:
Jesus answered and said to him:

Reader 2:  (Jesus)
Truly, truly tell you, unless you are born anew, you cannot see the kingdom of God.

How can a person be born once old? We can’t enter into the mother’s womb a second time and be born!

Reader 2
Truly, truly I tell you: Unless you are born of water and the Spirit, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

And just as Moses lifted on high the serpent in the desert, so also must the Son of Humankind be lifted up, so that everyone believing in him should have eternal life.

This is how much God loved the world: God gave God’s only-begotten son, so that everyone believing into him should not be destroyed, but should have eternal life.

Reader 2: For God did not send the son into the world to condemn the world, but so the world might be saved through him.

As the pastor returns to the pulpit or preaching place after the reading, the congregation sings this refrain as long as needed before the pastor is ready to preach:

Go down, Moses, way down in Egypt’s land.
Tell ole Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”

Sermon                                                                                 “Accept”

Call to Accept the Freedom and Power to Resist

People may be invited to write on cards at least one example of evil, injustice, or oppression they know they need to resist and now pledge to do, and one concrete way they will accept the freedom and power God gives them to do so. Invite them to make two copies of these items, and give one copy to one other person with whom they will check in during the coming week to share progress and offer mutual support. As they live the call this week, ask them to document times when they’ve successfully persevered in each area, as well as times when they’ve failed and needed to ask for more help. Midweek formation groups will be another opportunity to check in, pray for one another, and encourage one another.

Music during Call to Accept
            “Beautiful Things”                                                        CCLI #5665521 or
            “Jesus, Thine All-Victorious Love”                               UMH 422

Prayers of the People

Accepting the freedom God gives us, we step out and away from every force that seeks to constrain love and justice in our own hearts, and we pray:
For all people kept in poverty or slavery,
all who are in fear from abusers, terrorists, and oppressors,
all who face addiction of any kind,
and all who are targeted for unjust treatment because of who they are;

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Accepting the power God gives us, we speak and act with courage for the freedom and dignity of every human being and the good of all creation, and we pray:
For leaders in religious, political, economic, and social life;
for our families, friends, and neighbors;
and for all who work to sustain and protect our lives
            as military, civilian workers, and first responders;

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Freed and empowered by God to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in every form in which they present themselves, we band together as Christ’s body seeking the deliverance and salvation of all people, and we pray:
for all who need your healing power, and for all who offer healing through their skill and presence; for all who have harmed us, and all whom we have harmed by our action or inaction;


Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.


Receive the prayers of your people, most merciful God.
In your compassion, forgive our sins,
and free us for lives of empowered obedience
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven. 

All: Glory to God! Amen!


Forgiven, freed, and empowered to resist,
let us offer the peace of Christ to one another and our gifts to God.

The people exchange the peace of Christ as the offering is collected and presented if Communion is celebrated. If Communion is not celebrated, the presentation of the collected gifts is part of the Act of Thanksgiving, below.

Music during the Offering and Peace  
            “This Is Not the End”                                              CCLI# 6189790       OR
            “God So Loved the World”                                     Stainer, downloadable score:

Act of Thanksgiving (if Communion is not celebrated)

As the offering is presented, the congregation stands and is asked to offer thanks to God with one or both of the following:
            Freedom Is Coming”                                            TFWS 2192
            “O Freedom”                                                          TFWS 2194


The Great Thanksgiving                                    BOW 60-61

Thanksgiving after Communion

Pastor and People:
Jesus, thank you!
You have fed us with yourself
that we may receive your freedom and power,
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in every form in which they present themselves.
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
make us compassionate and just,
loving neighbors and enemies,
and you above all. Amen. 



Invite the congregation to face the back of the sanctuary, toward the exits.

Hymn/Song              “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round”        AH 4051

Deacon or Lay Leader (from the back of the worship space)

The way is sometimes more than you can handle.
We accept God’s freedom and power.
There is much work to be done, and many will try to turn you around.
We accept God’s freedom and power to resist.
Remember you are not resisting flesh and blood..
With God’s freedom and power, we will resist
evil, injustice, and oppression
In whatever forms they present themselves.

Go then, with the blessing of our Triune God.
We go to live our baptismal calling. Amen.

Postlude                                                                                Variations on Freedom Songs

Categories: Year A, Second Sunday in Lent - March 12, 2017