Fourth Sunday in Lent
The Lenten season, a forty-day period starting on Ash Wednesday and ending on Holy Saturday of Holy Week, calls us to reflect on Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion, and death. As disciples of the humble Nazarene, we embrace his lowliness and humility, seeking to share the mind of him who was obedient to death, even death on a Cross.
This Week’s Theme
FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so that healing occurred as they saw the serpent and believed God for healing, so too Jesus must be lifted up on the Cross, and all those who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life. God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, sending him not to condemn the world but to save it through his atonement.
Eternal Father, whose love prompted you to send for humankind your only begotten Son to earth, grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation that we may come to know just how great your amazing grace and love is for this world, and all humankind. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, Amen.
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.
Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: As it was in the beginning, Is now, and ever shall be, World without end. Amen, amen.
Sun, Mar. 18: 2 Sam. 6.12-23; 1 Chron. 15-16
Mon, Mar. 19: 2 Sam. 7-8; 1 Chron. 17-18; Ps. 60
Tue, Mar. 20: 2 Sam. 9-10; 1 Chron. 6.16-48, vv.50-53; ch.19
Wed, Mar. 21: 1 Chron. 3.5-9; 14.3-7; 20.1-3; 2 Sam. 11.1-12.25; 5.14-16; Ps. 51
Thu, Mar. 22: 2 Sam. 12.26-14.33
Fri, Mar. 23: 2 Sam. 15-17
Sat, Mar. 24: 2 Sam. 18-19; Pss. 3; 63
(ESV online reading guide for the Daily Reading)
Psalm: Ps. 107.1-3, 17-22
OT: Num. 21.4-9
Gospel: John 3.14-21
NT: Eph. 2.1-10
Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
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. Amen.
* In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).
Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.
Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.
Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord's Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)
Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Knowing that we are saved only by the love of God demonstrated in Christ dying for the ungodly, may we evermore be grateful and obedient, responding in submission and love to him who did not withhold his only Son from us, and for our salvation. May he always be glorified in and through us, for Christ’s sake, amen.
Affirmation from the Psalms
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
~ Psalm 27.1
Pray without Ceasing - Flash Prayer for the Day
God, you so loved the world, that you gave your only Son, that whoever believes in you should not perish but have eternal life.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Way of the Cross, Mark 8.31-38
Chan, Liturgical Theology