This first Sunday of the season, we follow Jesus into the wilderness. While this is an extremely personal moment for our Lord, it is also about us and about community as a whole. What will it take for the world to see who he is and how he chooses to live? What will he endure to be able to gather us up into him? Let our worship this week be a praise to the one who lives the life we aspire to follow.
Call to Worship
(Inspired by Matthew 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13)
Jesus began his ministry to the world,
led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
As we begin our Lenten journey,
let us be led by the Spirit,
even into the uncomfortable places.
In those forty days, and in that place,
Jesus was faced with hunger, doubt
As we seek to follow Jesus,
we would be led,
even into the uncomfortable choices.
Jesus left the wilderness,
faithful and obedient to God,
rejoicing in the One in whom he trusted.
As we continue on our path to faithfulness,
we will be led by our Christ,
rejoicing in the Lord our God.
Written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies, https://lectionaryliturgies.blogspot.com/search?q=Luke+4%3A1-13
Wilderness – A Prayer for Lent
Forty days alone,
a wilderness of thoughts,
tempting and inviting thoughts,
which could so easily have distracted you
from your task, your mission,
Yet you emerged, stronger and more attuned
to all that had to be done,
despite a time constraint
that to our eyes would have seemed hopeless.
We too live in stressful times.
Demands are made of our time,
that leave so little
for the important things of life.
We are easily distracted
in the wilderness of our lives,
by every call to go this way or that,
to turn stone to bread
leap from mountains,
and do all that would keep us from the truth.
We listen to the voices of this world,
and ignore the one who endured all this
and so much more,
and emerged triumphant,
that we might not have to suffer so.
Forgive us, Father,
when we get distracted from our task.
Forgive us those times when we try
to be all things to all men,
and fail to be anything to anyone
Written by John Birch and posted on his Faith and Worship website. http://www.faithandworship.com. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/gospel-reflection-temptation-of-christ.html.
Prayer – We are Misguided
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 and your will and your way.
Kelvin Sauls, The Africana Worship Book for Year C (Discipleship Resources, 2008), 145.
Into Lent Blessing
May the dust of the wilderness hold our footprints
shaped as they are by your hurt,
for dust remembers
May the journey into wilderness unfold
for honesty is the gift
your soul recognises as you
May your time in this wilderness
be shaped by space
rather than minutes
so there is time enough for all of you
May the stones in this wilderness
cry out your name loudly
that your spirit recognises the voice
that has been calling you always
And may you know this wilderness
has been expecting you
and you find between the stones
a promise growing
Written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones, http://newkilpatrickblog.typepad.com/nk-blogging/mucky-paws. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/lenten-blessing-into-lent.html.