Lent: Living Our Baptismal Calling Series Overview

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year A

The faith we confess, and the faith that transforms us, is more than intellectual assent to a theological construct. It is to stake our lives on the Triune God, and so join Martha’s confession, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into this world.”

Let us join together in professing the Christian faith, as contained in the Old and New Testaments. Do you entrust your life to God the Father?... Do you entrust your life to Jesus Christ?... Do you entrust your life to the Holy Spirit?


“This I Believe” CCLI #7018338 OR
“We Believe in One True God” UMH 85

Music of “This I Believe” or “We Believe in One True God” continues to play.
Pastor, standing by the font, lifts the water while asking each question:

Do you entrust your life to God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

Do you entrust your life to Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Do you entrust your life to the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Reprise: Final chorus of “This I Believe” or stanza 3 of “We Believe in One True God”


John 11:1-15; 20-27; 31-35; 38-45 Translated by Taylor Burton-Edwards

Readers assemble by the font while music to “When Jesus Wept” plays in the background.

Congregation remains seated.

Soloist hums the tune.

Reader 1: Narrator
Now a certain man fell ill, Lazarus, from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister, Martha. This was the Mary who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was ill. So the sisters sent to Jesus, saying:

Lord, the friend you love is ill.

Reader 1:
When Jesus heard it, he said:

Reader 2: Jesus
This illness doesn’t end in death, but in the glory of God, so the son of God may be glorified through it.

Reader 1:
Now, Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. Still, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was two days more. Then, after that, he said to his disciples:

Reader 2:
Let’s go to Judea again.

Choir or band:
Rabbi, people in Judea want to stone us, and you’re taking us there again?

Reader 2:
Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If people walk in the daylight, they don’t stumble because they see the light of this world. But if they go walking at night, they do stumble, because there is no light in them.


Lazarus, our friend, has fallen asleep. But I’m heading there to waken him!

Choir or band:
Lord, if he’s asleep, he’s going to be safe.

Reader 2:
Lazarus died. And I’m happy for your sake that I wasn’t there. This way, you might believe. So, let’s go to him!

Readers re-assemble by the pulpit.
Soloist sings “When Jesus Wept” (TFWS 2106)

Reader 1:
When Martha heard that Jesus was arriving, she went to greet him. Mary sat in the house.

Congregation, Right Side:
Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Yet I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you.

Reader 2:
Your brother will rise again.

Congregation, Right Side:
I know he will be raised at the resurrection on the last day.

Reader 2:
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever entrusts their life to me, even though they should die, yet they will live. And everyone who is alive and entrusts their life to me shall not die in the age to come. Do you believe this?

Congregation, Right Side:
Yes, Lord. I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the One who is coming into the world.

Readers move to the Lord’s Table.
Soloist and one other sing “When Jesus Wept” in a round.

Reader 1: There were several religious leaders with Mary in the house, comforting her. They saw Mary get up and go out, and they followed her, assuming she was heading to the tomb to bewail there. But when Mary got to where Jesus was, she saw him, and fell at his feet, saying:

Congregation, Left:
Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

Reader 1:
When Jesus saw her bewailing, and the religious leaders who had come with her also bewailing, he groaned in his spirit. He was stirred up.

Reader 2:
Where have you laid him?

Choir or band:
Sir, come and see.

Reader 1:
Jesus teared up and began to weep.

Soloist sings “When Jesus Wept”
Readers move to front and center, floor level.

Reader 1:
So again, groaning inwardly, Jesus goes to the tomb. A cave was there, and a stone lay upon it.

Reader 2:
Lift away the stone.

Reader 1: Martha, sister of the dead man, said to him:

Congregation, Right:
Lord, already he smells bad. It’s been four days.

Reader 2:
Did I not say to you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?

Reader 1:
So they lifted away the stone.

And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:

Reader 2:
Father, I thank you that you have heard me. Indeed, I have always known you hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing around so they might believe you have sent me.

(Loudly shouting): Lazarus, come out!

Reader 1: The dead man came out, bound foot and hand with strips of cloth, and his face was wrapped with a facecloth.

Reader 2:
Unbind him, and let him go his way.

Soloists and readers signal congregation to rise.

“When Jesus Wept” (3X: unison once, round twice) TFWS 2106

Sermon “Believe!”

Call to Believe

People may be invited to write on cards at least one example of a way they currently entrust their lives to God as creator, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and one example of each they will commit to pursue during the coming week. 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 entrusted themselves to each person of the Trinity, 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 Believe
“We Believe” (Hooper, Fike, Ryan) CCLI # 6367165

Prayers of the People

Professing the faith of the whole church, we thank you for the wonders of your creation on land and water, in sky and outer space, and in the lives of plants, animals, and people; and we pray for the unbinding of all from whatever restrains them from realizing the creative potential you have given:
For all people kept in poverty or slavery,
for all who are in fear from abusers, terrorists, and oppressors,
for all who face addiction of any kind,
and for all who are targeted for unjust treatment because of who they are;

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Entrusting our lives to Jesus Christ, we seek resurrection and life for every person, and we pray:
For leaders in religious, political, economic, and social life;
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.

Placing ourselves at the disposal of the Holy Spirit, we go where the Spirit blows as witnesses of your love and power to heal, Triune God, and we pray:
with families, friends, and neighbors,
near and far, like us and different from us;
with all who need your healing power,
for all who offer healing through their skill and presence;
and for all whom we have harmed by our action or inaction;


Lord in your mercy,
hear our prayer.


Receive the prayers of your people, Triune God.
In your compassion, forgive our sins,
and drive us to lives of faithful service
as we continue to profess our faith
and entrust our lives into your keeping;
through Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord. Amen.


In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

In the name of Jesus, you are forgiven.

All: Glory to God! Amen!


Forgiven, restored, and united with Christ,
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.

Music during the Offering and Peace
“Out of the Depths I Cry to You” UMH 515 OR
“I Believe” (Miller)—Choral Anthem Choristers Guild, CGA 1310

The Great Thanksgiving BOW 62-63 OR

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your eyes.
We see our deliverer coming!

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.

The trees of the field rejoice in your salvation,
and clap their hands.

The stars shine out your glory,
and the earth trembles at your presence.

Winds and waters scatter at the sound of your voice,
and we, with all creation, cry “Holy!”

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

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

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

Blessed are you, Jesus Christ,
Way and Truth,
Resurrection and Life.
Calling disciples and making friends among us,
you ask us to believe
to entrust our lives to you,
God’s first-begotten,
that we, with you, may rise
in the midst of this mortal life
and in the age to come.

Vanquisher of death,
Giver of life,
thank you for coming among us
and for offering yourself to us
in this holy meal
to lift every barrier,
call us out from every tomb,
and set us free from all that binds us.

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.

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

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 made alive by his blood.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Make us one.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Unite us with you.

Come, Holy Spirit.
Revive us!

Make us whole and holy on this day,
as we await that day
when we shall feast with Christ
in the 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
Lift Every Voice and Sing UMH 519 OR
Creed (Mullins) CCLI #1263924

Thanksgiving after Communion

Pastor and People:
Jesus, thank you!
You have fed us with yourself,
restoring our lives
and enlivening our faith
by your presence.
You are the resurrection and the life!
In the power of the Holy Spirit,
send us forth, unbound in body, mind, and spirit,
to proclaim our faith in your Triune being and infinite love,
wherever we go. Amen.


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

“Gracious Creator of Sea and of Land” W&S 3161

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

Go into a world filled with death and mourning.
We entrust our lives to Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life.
Go into homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.
We entrust our lives to God, Almighty Creator.
Go into places of judgment and fear.
We entrust our lives to the Holy Spirit, who shows us the truth and empowers us.

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


In This Series...

Ash Wednesday — Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent | Renounce — Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent | Accept — Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent | Confess — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent | Nurture — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent | Believe! — Planning Notes


  • Purple

In This Series...

Ash Wednesday — Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent | Renounce — Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent | Accept — Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent | Confess — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent | Nurture — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent | Believe! — Planning Notes