Lent 3: “God’s Guidance: The Better Way Forward” Isaiah 55:1-9

Photo: Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber ©2022. Worship format and original content: Rev. Kathryn M. Schreiber ©2022.

We Gather

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.” — John O’Donohue, 21st century Irish Christian spiritual guide

Prelude (musician)

Welcome and Acknowledgements (pastor)

Welcome! Everyone is welcome here! Through Jesus Christ, we are called together as the Beloved Community. (Greet guest musician and visitors) We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers

Invocation (liturgist)

This Lent we travel with Jesus’ ancestors through times of critical transition. This Sunday, we listen to the great Hebrew prophet, Isaiah’s, message from God – a call to divine wisdom. As we carry the woes of the world, may the Light of God’s Illumination guide us. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Light The Christ Candle (liturgist or pastor)

Welcoming Those Not Physically Present (musician plays as pastor lights votives on altar)

Passing the Peace (everyone shares gestures and words of peace)

We Rest in God’s Grace

Prayer and Silence (pastor)

Let us shift into silence in God’s presence with this simple prayer based on Psalm 46:10.

Be still and know that I am God. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know that I am. (Breathe slowly)

Be still and know. (Breathe slowly)

Be still. (Breathe slowly)

Be. (Breathe slowly)

(Breathe in silence)

Amen.

Assurance of Grace (pastor)

In times of distress we tend to react strongly. Some will jump into action as adrenaline flows. Others will be overcome with raw emotions and withdraw. And some will be swept up into a swirl of competing thoughts and impulses, unable to land our response. Thankfully, God calls us to focus upon the Divine Source of all Wisdom. From God, we may receive the help needed to deeply transform reoccurring problems.

When trouble arises, in our homes or across the sea, let us listen for the grace of God’s guidance. Let us meditate on the Way of Christ, a way forward bringing the most good to the most beings. Let us patiently trust the grace of divine guidance. God is with us and for all of us. Always.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Isaiah 55: 1-9 (translation: NRSV) (liturgist)

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
   come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
   and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
   and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me;
   listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
   my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made King David a witness to the peoples,
   a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
   and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
   for God has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while God may be found,
   call upon God while God is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
   and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that God may have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for God will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
   nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
   so are my ways higher than your ways
   and my thoughts than your thoughts.

May God add a blessing to the reading and reflecting upon God’s Holy Word. Amen.

Message: “Taking a Pause” (pastor) Amid many challenges and responsibilities, taking a pause to seek God’s wisdom may make a world of difference.

Special Music (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Holy One, we are hungry for more than food and thirsty for more than water. We desire to know Your Ways – to think and do as You would have us do. Thank You, Source of All Life, for sending Jesus Christ to embody noble humanity. May we imitate the Beloved Christ carefully choosing our thoughts, words, and actions, making tangible Your transforming ways. Amen.

Prayers of the People, Private Prayer, The Lord’s Prayer (pastor)

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all – softly)

Please leave your donations in the basket in the entryway. Donations may also be mailed to the church, attn: Treasurer Diane Huie.

Announcements (pastor)

  • OGHS Promotion this week – handouts, envelopes
  • Ukraine Emergency Appeal

We Transition

Hymn “Be Thou My Vision” Chalice Hymnal #595 Words: Mary E Byrne; Music: Traditional Irish melody.  (musician)

Benediction (pastor)

God is always with us! God is always broadcasting a better way forward. God is always streaming higher thoughts to elevate our minds. God desires life abundant for all beings. May we be guided by God’s Big Love – going forth in peace and love, hope and right actions. Amen.

Postlude (musician)

The service is concluded.

Worship Resources:

(kms) All content prepared and written by Rev. Kathryn M Schreiber, unless attributed to another source.

Residency Acknowledgement: This content was written in Huichin Village, unceded territory of the Lisjan- Ohlone people, where I dwell and serve as a local church pastor. Please support indigenous rematriation efforts, the #LandBack movement, and give to Sogorea Te’ Land Trust Soghttps://sogoreate-landtrust.org/ and other non-profits that reform, balance, and heal relationships with our indigenous hosts. Thank you!

Copyright Note: Copyright laws changed in December 2020 when Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 (CASE Act). Please check with your legal counsel as to the appropriate use of licensed materials, especially print and recorded music when sharing content online. Please observe ethical use of resources and follow the publishing requirements of any broadcasting or publishing platforms you use. Protect the rights of content creators. Thank you!

Online Publishing Date: March 15, 2022.

Permission: Permission is not granted to share or distribute this resource beyond your community without additional permission from the author. Please attribute source and observe ethical use of all resources. Follow your platforms’ publishing requirements for all created content especially if publishing online or broadcasting. Thank you!

Donation: Due to the current coronavirus pandemic this content is offered free. If you’d like to support the congregation I serve as pastor – Berkeley Chinese Community Church – we’d be most grateful for your support. Please send checks to: BCCC UCC, 2117 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702, Attn: Diane Huie, Treasurer. Thank you!

For Online Content: Please see Facebook pages: “Berkeley Chinese Community Church” and “Living Liturgies”; as well as my website: www.inthebiglove.com and YouTube channel: “Kathryn Schreiber”

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