By Lindsey Baynham
We Confess to God, Who Hears Our Complaints
A Call to Confession, or Confession before Eucharist based on Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Many Voices: To the one who receives and hears our filed complaints:
Forgive us when we seek to live apart from your help.
Forgive us the words that erupt from our mouths.
Forgive us the hurtful thoughts we think when we feel you are hidden from us.
Forgive our efforts to escape from your embrace.
One Voice: Free us to live in abundant life. Amen.
Words of Assurance:
Hear the good news: The same God who heard and forgave Job in the Old Testament hears and forgives us. Rise from this prayer to sin no more. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.
People to One Another: Thank God that we are forgiven, in Jesus’ name! Amen.
A Response to the Word based on Mark 10:17-31, CEB translation.
This is a guided time of prayer time, appealing to the auditory, visual, and tactile senses. Create stations for reflection and prayer around the worship space. Make sure that the room is arranged for flexible movement. The stations may be placed in any order, and you may invite worshipers to visit these stations in any order. If possible, assign a lay minister to each of the stations to share the questions and to lead people in the concluding prayer printed on the posters above the stations.
Directions for worship stations:
Station One – a stand with a bowls of fresh water.
Explanation: The focus of station one is eternal life. Water is emblematic of baptism, which represents our entrance into eternal life. Over station one, place a poster with these words: “Like the eternal and overwhelming nature of the ocean, God’s grace is an abundant gift of life eternal.”
Question to the congregation: “How do we experience the gift of eternal life?” Remember your baptism and be thankful!
Invite people to touch the water, play in it, and/or gaze at it. After three to five minutes of reflection, invite participants to conclude with the words on the poster, “Like the eternal and overwhelming nature of the ocean, God’s grace is an abundant gift of life eternal.”
Station Two – a small table with several mirrors that are large enough to write on, dry-erase markers, and erasers. Over station two, place a poster with the words: “…Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.”
Explanation: The focus of this station is transformation, and transformation begins within. Often we cannot experience transformation until we look honestly at ourselves in the mirror.
Question to the congregation: “What is the one thing that prevents you from fully following Jesus?”
As you look at yourself in the mirror, ask yourself: “What have I been meaning to start in my devotional life? How can I stay accountable to a friend or partner? What might God be calling me to that I have thought out of the question?”
Invite people to look at themselves in the mirror, to write on the mirror, or to simply gaze at their own reflections. (Use erasers to prepare the mirror for the next worshiper in line.) After three to five minutes of reflection, invite participants to conclude with the words on the poster, “. . . Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.”
Station Three – Fill a small table with several challenging tasks like: Rubik’s cubes, iron or wooden brain-teaser objects, a 1,000-piece puzzle, optical illusions, a difficult math equation written out on a large piece of paper, and so on. Over station three, place a poster with the words “It’s impossible with human beings, but not with God. All things are possible for God.”
Explanation: The focus of this station is putting impossible things into perspective With God, all things are possible.
Question to the congregation: “What are the things in your life that are as difficult as cramming a camel through the eye of the needle? What seems impossible? Offer the impossibilities of your life over to the one who makes all things possible.”
Invite people to interact with the “difficult” objects on the table. Remind the people that these earthly tasks are only impossible if they have not learned how to do them. God will teach us how to navigate the difficult seasons of our lives. After three to five minutes of reflection, invite participants to conclude their time at this station with the words: "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26b NRSV).
At the end of this time, offer a prayer or simply say, “Amen.”
Rev. Lindsey Baynham is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church currently serving as the Director of Clergy Excellence in the Virginia Annual Conference. This proud alumna of Randolph-Macon College and Duke Divinity School has a passion for worship design, preaching and teaching, laughter over a meal with friends and connecting folks.