We are launching ourselves on the grand Ordinary Time journey. These Sundays after Pentecost carry the story of the church at work in the world, the church guided by the Spirit and infused with the presence of Christ. We don’t make this journey alone but surrounded by God in all the ways we experience that loving presence. Trinity Sunday is an acknowledgement of the mysterious and wondrous God we worship.
A Monologue for John 3:1-17
If your congregation uses video bumpers, this would make an excellent prelude to a sermon about Nicodemus.
And yet I hear the crickets singing incessantly among the reeds. It gives me comfort to know that my existence is not alone, siloed. When I think all has finally stopped for the day--I sense him, feel him, before I see him. A shadowy figure, moving slowly when concealed and swiftly when in the open. As the moon hits the figure--I can tell it is a man...and not just any man, a leader.
A Pharisee. What’s he doing out this late at night? Moving sketchily in the darkness. Where is he going? It’s not like I can betray myself and reveal him for all to see. No,--I, the night, am his accomplice. His sudden movements stop at a door that has caused a lot of commotion in recent days.
He knocks--it’s done quietly, but echoes so loudly…
Lindsey Baynham, Pentecost Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers 1, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.
Call to Worship
(inspired by John 3:14-21 and Ephesians 2:1-10)
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son
that whoever believes in him should not perish
but have eternal life.
Let those who know they are redeemed celebrate it!
Those who have been reclaimed from deep trouble!
Though we were as good as dead,
God made us alive with the grace of Christ
through whom we are rescued and healed.
O give thanks to God for such unswerving love,
for such wonderful deeds for the children of earth.
Written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2015/03/call-to-worship-god-so-loved-world.html.
Prayer: Blow, Wind of God
(inspired by John 3:1-17)
Blow, wind of God,
Blow away the tight rules that hold me back from trusting, risking, loving
Blow away my sin that stands in the way of encountering my neighbors
Ready me for birth
Prepare me for risk
Equip me with courage and vision for the new thing that waits around the corner
We cannot choose the stories we have inherited
But we can choose the stories that we become.
Written by Eileen Klassen Hamm (second line by Dori Zerbe Kornelson). Posted on the website of the Superb Mennonite Church. http://www.superbmennonite.org/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/05/prayer-john-3-1-17.html.
(inspired by John 3:8)
“Just as you can hear the wind
but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going,
so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
Holy Spirit of God, invisible like the wind,
we do not see you moving among us,
but the effect we see—
come to our hearts:
that we may be renewed and reborn.
Open our minds:
that we may perceive your kingdom.
Lift up our eyes to where the cross of Christ stands for our healing:
so may we believe,
and in believing not die
but have eternal life;
through him who
in your love for us
you sent into the world,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Written by Michael Saward. Posted on The Jubilate Group website. http://www.jubilate.co.uk/liturgy/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/04/prayer-john-3-1-17.html.
Prayer of Confession
(inspired by Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-16)
we confess that we are an impatient and selfish people.
When you offer us the promise of a new future,
we complain that you don’t get there fast enough.
When you provide for our needs,
we complain that it isn’t enough.
And when our bad attitudes and negative outlooks cause us to stumble,
we blame you.
Holy God, forgive our sinful ways.
Teach us to be patient.
Instruct us to be grateful.
Guide us to be responsible and humble.
As we turn ourselves around and look to the cross,
let us experience your grace and your gift of new life.
In the name of Christ our Savior, we pray. Amen.
Written by Amy Loving, and posted on The Worship Closet: The Place for Creative Worship Ideas. http://worshipcloset.com/baptism-of-the-lord-sunday-year-b-words-for-worship/.
(based on John 3:16-17)
Just as God’s Word was sent into the world
to heal and redeem,
so God sends you into the world this day
to be light and love, healing and hope.
Go now to be light for the world!
And may the grace and peace of God the Creator,
the Redeemer, and the Sustainer
come upon you this day
and remain with you always. Amen.
Taken from “O Merciful God: God of Wisdom: Prayers for the Fourth Sunday in Lent,” written by Rev. Kathryn Matthews Huey and the Rev. Susan A. Blain. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/benediction-john-3-16-17.html.