Lent 4: “God’s Provision: Manna to Harvest” Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35 & Joshua 5:10-12

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

We Gather

“This living stream I so desire, I see it in this bread of life, even during the night.” –St John of the Cross, (trans Ken Krabbenhoft), 16th century Spanish 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.  Welcome guests and visitors.

We honor this holy ground, unceded territory of the Lisjan-Ohlone people, committed to healing relations among all peoples.

Altar Flowers (tba)

Invocation (liturgist)

In the terrible transition times, O Lord, Thank You for sending Bread from Heaven.

In the territorial transition times, O Lord, Thank You for maintaining the Bounty of the Earth.

In these troubling transitional times, O Lord, Thank You for encouraging us to use the skills and wisdom You have given us to do what is ours to do. 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 the midst of significant personal and social shifts, it may seem God’s presence has changed. When God doesn’t seem as responsive as in the past, it is wise to remember God’s care for us has appropriately changed in form.

God grants us vast freedom. Just as a loving parent will not do for a child what is the child’s to learn to do for herself, God will never overpower our mortal agency. God will, however, always lure us forward, gracefully offering us encouragement to grow. Often, when we can’t perceive God’s grace in the moment, but we will later on.

Special Music (musician)

We Listen

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35 & Joshua 5:10-12 (translation: NRSV) (liturgist) These passages remind us of God’s gift of “manna” given to the liberated Hebrews while in the wilderness, and the ending that heavenly gift when they reached Canaan.

Exodus 16:1-4a, 9-12, 35

The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day.

Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to the whole congregation of the Israelites, “Draw near to the Lord, for he has heard your complaining.”’ And as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the Israelites, they looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.”’

The Israelites ate manna for forty years, until they came to a habitable land; they ate manna, until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 

AND

Joshua 5:10-12

While the Israelites were encamped in Gilgal they kept the Passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho. On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.

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

Message: “Holy Change” (pastor) God invites humanity to enter holy seasons of change — biblically, often for 40 days and nights or 40 years. God is inviting all of us into seasons of social change over long periods of time.

Special Music (musician)

We Pray

Pastoral Prayer (pastor)

Eternal Companion, thank You for Your faithfulness to humanity and all living beings. Thank You for Your patience when we complain and question Your faithfulness. And, Thank You for Your genuine care when You step aside that we might do what is ours to do. Grant us the confidence to trust in Your wisdom, especially as our responsibilities change. Amen.

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

Offering of Praise “Doxology” (musician; all) Before worship, please leave donations in the basket in the entryway.

Dedication of One Great Hour of Sharing Offerings (pastor)

Basket of offerings is brought forward.

Let us join our UCC sisters and brothers as we bless all One Great Hour of Sharing Offerings presented today:

“We offer these gifts, O God, in the spirit of love. May the gifts that we offer this day embody our loving response to Your great love for us. Through these gifts, may others feel the love of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” (OGHS)

Offerings are placed on the altar.

Announcements (pastor)

  • Ukraine Emergency Appeal
  • Cal Project help

We Transition

Hymn “All Who Hunger, Gather Gladly” Chalice Hymnal #419 Words: Sylvia Dunstan, 1990; Music: William Moore, Columbian Harmony, 1825. (musician plays; if all present agree, we’ll sing softly – masks on)

Benediction (pastor)

God is always with and for us. God’s provisions change when it is time for us to mature. When what “used to be” hasn’t quite been replaced with “what is coming into being,” may God grant us the peace and patience needed to maneuver change. In the Peace of Christ, 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.

(OGHS) Worship resources sent to UCC churches, ©2022.

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 22, 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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