Fifth Sunday in Lent 2022

selective focus photography of white cherry blossom flowers
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on

He’s the Lily of the Valley,

The Bright and Morning Star,

He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.

He will never, never leave me,

Nor yet forsake me here,

While I live by faith and do His blessed will

A wall of fire about me, I’ve nothing now to fear,

From His manna He my hungry soul shall fill.

What a generous God we worship! What an extravagant Creator, what a Source of abundance!

God has filled the universe with stars and galaxies beyond number, has filled the world with creatures and objects and colors and shapes, types and varieties, more than we can apprehend, has built it all on atoms and molecules, too small to see, too many to imagine!

We thank you, gracious and giving God, and we praise you. What a vibrant life this is! What an amazing array of experiences, relationships and opportunities! God has provided us with minds and bodies, hearts and souls to perceive and enjoy all that life contains, has called us to appreciate each unique moment, each special gift!

We thank you, gracious and giving God, and we praise you. What an amazing Savior is ours! What a self-giving, compassionate Lord! God has entered our world and shared its challenges, has lived and died as one of us, has risen, and has opened the door to full, eternal and exuberant life! We thank you, gracious and giving God, and we praise you.

In this world of plenty, O God, we have chosen to live lives of poverty. We have hoarded our blessings, and have kept more than our share of abundance, causing others to know the hard reality of need and want.

Please, forgive us, Gracious God. We have failed to care adequately for the world’s abundant resources, bringing scarcity and pain to our planet.

Please, forgive us, Gracious God. We have denied the goodness that we enjoy, and have forgotten how to be grateful, making ourselves miserable and hurting others.

Please, forgive us, Gracious God. Remind us, O Lord, of all the good things that we have received; remind us how to enjoy the blessings we experience; remind us that giving is a source of pleasure and plenty; and remind us that there is enough to go around. And teach us to follow Christ in the ways of love, self-giving and compassion; even as you have forgiven us in Christ. Amen.

We thank you, Lord, for all that you have done for us; for all that you have given us and for all that you have been to us. We remember and celebrate your constant grace, care and provision, and our faith grows as we recognize the goodness that we enjoy. But Lord, you have also given us the gift of prayer, and you have invited us to bring our requests to you, for you love us and you listen to our needs and desires. And so, we pray for ourselves and our loved ones that we might find all we need in you.

We believe and trust in God.
Our Savior has made a way to abundant life, giving his life for all, and compassionately inviting all to share in his Kingdom.

We believe and trust in God.
Our Comforter is poured out as the abundant Spirit, bringing power and gifts to all, and leading all to fullness of life.

We believe and trust in God, Three in One, Generous and Loving, Faithful and Eternal. Amen

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Holy God, we praise and bless you for creation and the gift of life; and for your abiding love which brings us close to you, the source of all blessing. We thank you for revealing your will for us in the giving of the law and the teaching of the prophets.

We celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to gather your church by whom your work may be done in the world, and through whom we share the gift of eternal life. With the faithful in every place and time, we praise with joy your holy name.

Send the power of your Spirit upon us and upon these gifts of bread and wine, that they may be for us Christ’s body and blood, and that we might be for the world Christ’s body, until at last we feast with him and all your people at the table of unending joy.

Through him, with him, and in him, in the power of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor be to you, O God, now and forever. Amen.

Watchword for the Week

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3: 13, 14

Watchword for Today

The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him.”
Genesis 21:17-18

Doctrinal Text

Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet.
Hebrews 12:12-13

Prayer for Today

Merciful God, you hear the cries of the disenfranchised, abandoned, and bone-dry. In the good measure of your wondrous love, strengthen and inspire us to press onward with courage and hope for the sake of justice and peace. Amen

Congregation Watchword for the Year

Serve God with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind

1 Chronicles 28:9

December 2022