Lent 2018 Worship Planning Series

Second Sunday in Lent 2018, Year B

With a theme like this, it may be tempting to move into heavy-handed “holier than thou, hyper-righteousness” mode. Instead, gentleness, transparency, and humility are needed. Prepare yourselves to model these things in the ways you as worship leaders lead today. There’s no shame in admitting we need help. We do. And thanks be to God, God is ready to offer help to one and all, through prayer, through sacrament, and through our interactions with others in our daily lives.

Intervention — Second Sunday in Lent

AH = The Africana Hymnal

BOW = United Methodist Book of Worship

CCLI = Christian Copyright Licensing International, SongSelect

TFWS = The Faith We Sing (2000)

UMH = United Methodist Hymnal

W&S = Worship & Song (2011)

SOZ = Songs of Zion


Choir or ensemble processes in slowly, leading the singing:
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” (Long Meter) Africana Hymnal 4012 or
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” (ZION) Africana Hymnal 4013


Reading Mark 8:31-38 (Translation, Taylor Burton-Edwards)

Reader 1: (front, moving toward the back)
Jesus started teaching his disciples that it was necessary for the Son of Humankind to suffer many things, and to be tested and found wanting by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and to be killed, and after three days to be resurrected.

And he was talking this way to anyone who would listen.

So Peter, taking him aside, started rebuking Jesus.

All may turn to face the back of the worship space.

Reader 2: (back, moving toward the front with Reader 3)
But Jesus turned around. Seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter.

Reader 3: (Jesus, turning while speaking to face everyone in the congregation)
Get yourself back behind me, Satan. You are not concerning yourself with the ways of God, but only the ways of people.

Reader 2: Jesus then addressed the entire crowd, along with his disciples.

Reader 3: (Jesus, looking upward and outward, pointing both within and beyond the the congregation while speaking):

Look! If any of you desires to follow where I’m leading, you must deny yourself, and take up your crucifix, and follow me. For if you desire to save your own life, you will destroy it. But whoever among you should destroy your life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, you will save it. For what profit would a person have to gain the whole universe and lose their life? For what would someone give in exchange for one’s life?

So if you consider it shameful to stand by me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Humankind will consider you shameful when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angel army.

Sermon “Intervention”

Call to Acknowledge Your Need for Intervention

People may be invited to write on cards at least one example of a place in their lives where they need God or others to intervene so they will follow where Jesus leads, not where they want to go. Invite them to make two copies, and give one copy to one other person with whom they will check in during the coming week to share how they have (or haven’t) seen God intervene or others intervene, and what has happened as a result. Midweek formation groups will be another opportunity to check in, pray for one another, and encourage one another.

Music during Call to Acknowledge

“Spirit of God, Descend upon My Heart” UMH 500
“Fix Me, Jesus” Africana Hymnal 4123 or UMH 655

Prayers of the People

We are in the wilderness.
We have lost our way.
We cannot fix ourselves.
We need God’s intervention in our lives.
And so do many others.

And so we pray:
Come quickly to help us, O God.

Because people are still kept in poverty or slavery,
some are in fear from abusers, terrorists, and oppressors,
some face addiction,
and some are targeted for unjust treatment because of who they are;

Come quickly to help us, O God.

Because we need courage and integrity from leaders
in religious, political, economic, and social life;
because we love and sometimes struggle with
our families, friends, and neighbors;
and because the lives of those who sustain and protect our lives
as military, civilian workers, and first responders
are full of challenge and conflict;

Come quickly to help us, O God.

Because there are people who need your healing power,
and some who offer healing through their skill and presence;
because some have harmed us,
and we have harmed others by our action or inaction;


Come quickly to help us, O God.


Receive the prayers of your people, most merciful God.
In your compassion, forgive our sins,
and intervene to free us for joyful 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 helped where we need it most,
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

“Take Up Thy Cross” UMH 415
“I’ve Been Buked” SOZ 143

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:

"Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)” CCLI #6440288
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” UMH 519


The Great Thanksgiving BOW 60-61 or

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We are yours, O God.

Bless the Lord!
God’s holy name be praised!

Praised in heaven, praised in earth,
praised throughout your creation
is your name, Holy Triune God.

From generation to generation,
your people rejoice in your Name.

Though our wisdom is foolishness,
and our self-preservation leads to our destruction,
you continue to show us your way.

So with prophets, leaders, and faithful people,
we, with all creation, cry “Holy!”

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God of power and might,

Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is Christ who comes in your name!
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed are you, Jesus Christ,
Word made flesh,
speaking truth hard to hear,
but making sure we hear it
and just how hard it is.
You denied yourself,
took up the cross,
followed where the Spirit led,
and called all your disciples to do the same.

Blessed are you, Jesus Christ.

Blessed are you for coming among us
and for offering yourself to us
in this holy meal
to fill our hungry and erring souls,
and to empower us to break free from Satan’s lies
and follow where you lead.

With your first disciples, on the night of your betrayal into death,
you took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it, saying:
Take and eat this, my body given for you.

Then you took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it, saying:
Drink this, my blood of the new covenant for you.

Even so,
here and now,
come, Holy Spirit.
Come, Holy Spirit.

Come upon these gifts
and upon us.
Make them be for us
Christ’s body and blood,
that we who receive them may be for all
the body of Christ enlivened by his blood.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Make us one.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Unite us with you.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Revive us!

Intervene to make us what we are not now,
as we await that day
when we shall see Christ as he is
at the feast of new creation.

To Christ, to you, and to the All-Merciful Creator,
One God, living and true,
be all praise, and honor, and glory
now and forever.

The Breaking of the Bread and Distribution

Music during Communion

“Come, Ye Disconsolate” UMH 510 or
“Chain Breaker” CCLI #7060031 (key of G)

Thanksgiving after Communion
Pastor and People:

Jesus, thank you!
You have fed us with yourself,
Intervening with your own body and blood
to free us from every illusion of success,
and show us the true way,
the way of your cross.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
keep on intervening
until we deny ourselves,
take up the cross,
and consistently follow you. Amen.


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


“Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go” CCLI #25194
“Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone” UMH 424

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

Church, we often get it just plain wrong,
turned inside out,
mistaking evil for good,
our comfort for God’s will.
We need some serious intervention
and then some rehab.

And today, right here,
God has started and continued that work
in you.

Jesus is in you.
The God of angel armies surrounds you.
The Spirit is moving among us,
and driving us out of here
to continue in and through each of us
what the Spirit has gotten started.

Go in the peace and with the intervening power of our Triune God.

Postlude Variations on Freedom Songs