Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Liturgy: Tempted in the Wilderness - Matthew 4:1-17 (January 15, 2023)

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Call to Worship

Leader: We have heard John’s call, and now Jesus summons us with the same words:
People: “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!”
Leader: We come, ready to repent.
People: We come, ready to follow Jesus.
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: [Respond with indicated gesture:] And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession

Leader: As human beings, we are surrounded by temptation at all times. Some of the greatest temptations don’t originate from outside of us but come from within our own hearts and minds. Jesus urges us not to ignore these temptations, but to confront them and to lean on God’s Word for strength. In the spirit of Christ, let us therefore face our sins and confess them together.

Unison Prayer of Confession

People: Gracious and Holy God, we come before you in humility to acknowledge the ways we’ve taken your grace for granted. It is written, “One does not live by bread alone,” but we greedily hoard resources, as if you will not provide. It is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test,” but we place conditions on our faithfulness, as if you haven’t already demonstrated your love a thousand times over. It is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him,” but we worship the gods of wealth, influence, safety, and comfort, as if any of them could redeem us. Help us to banish The Adversary from our hearts and minds, so that we might more clearly hear your Word and more faithfully prepare the way for your kindom. In your mercy, hear our prayer…

Declaration of Forgiveness

Leader: Jesus calls us to change our hearts and lives, not just once, but every time we are tempted to stray from God’s path. The Good News is that we are not meant to accomplish this on our own, that God’s help and mercy accompanies us on every step of the journey. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!

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