Fourth Sunday in Lent A, March 26, 2017

Almost nothing about my spring break has gone as planned, and I apologize that this liturgy is so late.  Probably only I will be able to use it tomorrow.  But I know that I really won’t have time to work on liturgies until the end of the semester, so here are a bunch all at once.  Grace and Peace, K

CALL TO WORSHIP
One: “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
All: We come out of the darkness of night and sin, into the light of Christ.
One: Work in the light of Christ, revealing what has been hidden by the night.
All: We see with our human eyes and all their limitations.
One: But in God we can see clearly.  The small and young and blind are chosen.
All: Let us worship the God of unexpected priorities and new sight.

OPENING PRAYER
Gracious Christ, you are so patient with us, but we become distracted by what we see.  You know that each of us has the abilities you have given us, but we only see the limitations in others and even ourselves.  You bring light and warmth and love into our lives, but we choose to live blind in the darkness.  Help us exist in you.  Help us trust you as our shepherd and accept that we are just sheep who need your guidance and protection.  Be with us today as we see more clearly in you.  Amen.

CALL TO CONFESSION
Human priorities are not God’s.  Even Christ was called a sinner.  And so surely we, mere humans, have sinned greatly.  Let us come before this truly sinless Christ and confess.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Gracious God, we lack the humility to live in you.  Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.”  We see so much we think we see too much.  But in you we are blind.  We think we know where we are and where we are going, but in your ways and preferences we have no sight.  We do so much wrong and harm.  Please help us be blind to our own sight and sighted to how you see the world.  Help us die to our own sin and be born from above with your vision for us and all around us.  Forgive us, please.  Amen.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON
Dear ones, sight in Christ is a messy process.  Samuel only saw after his stubbornness was put aside.  Paul only saw after he was blinded.  The blind man only saw after mud and spittle were put on his eyes.  Forgiveness in God is important but often comes unexpected ways.  May you be ever more aware of your blindness to sin and alive in the light of Christ. In the name of this Jesus Christ the Savior, I can declare to you that your sins are forgiven.  Now awake, look with new eyes, and sin no more.

CALL FOR THE OFFERING
As Christ calls us to live life anew, let us bring forth what we have of our hands and ourselves to further Christ’s light into the world.

PRAYER OF DEDICATION
O Holy God, may what we bring forth today go to spread your light into the world.  May these of our hands bring sight to all of our blindnesses, and may we ourselves humbly follow your vision in all that we are and all that we touch.  Amen.

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