Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Liturgy: Lent 4 Lessons and Carols, Mark 8:22-9:32 (March 10, 2024)

 *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

Additional Hymns:

Hymn GTG #410, “God Is Calling through the Whisper”
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #463, “How Firm a Foundation”

*Call to Worship (Based on Mark 8:27-29)

Leader: Who do people say Jesus is?
People: Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.
Leader: And what about you? Who do YOU say Jesus is?
People: Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
Leader: We have come to bear witness to God’s glory.
People: Let us worship the Lord!

Call to Confession (based on Mark 9:24)

Leader: No matter how long or how devoutly we have practiced our faith, not one of us has come close to perfecting it. Let us share the ancient prayer of a desperate father as we confess our sins: “I believe; help my unbelief.”

Popcorn Prayer of Confession (based on Mark 9:17-19)

You are invited to speak a word or short phrase that describes a personal or collective sin of which you repent and seek forgiveness. 

When the gathered community is finished sharing, we pray together:

People: Great Healer, there are times that we are overpowered by illness of body or of spirit, and we cannot make ourselves well. Other times, we try to free others from that which haunts them, yet we find ourselves unable. Remind us that healing of any kind is not something we can do on our own, but requires relationship – both with you and with one another. Help us to have faith: in your love, in the abilities you’ve given to each of us, and in the kindom that is both already and not yet. In your mercy, hear our prayers… (Silent prayers of personal confession)

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Mark 9:26-27)

Leader: Friends, we may believe that hope is dead; we may feel defeated and broken and beyond healing. But even now, Jesus reaches out his hand to lift you up, so that you might rise with him to new life. Hear the good news: In Christ’s name, we are all forgiven!
People: Thanks be to God!

Be Still and Know… (Visio Divina)

Every week during Lent, we’ll be trying out a different way of experiencing God, things to help us “be still” in God’s presence. 
    • The Examen is a technique for prayerfully reflecting on an experience.
      • Usually for reflecting on the past day – hence, Daily Examen
      • Ancient practice that originates with Ignatius Loyola
    • Like Visio Divina, Daily Examen is structured around stages or steps.
      • Relish
        • Spend a few moments in gratitude for the day
      • Request
        • Ask God to help you see where God has been present/at work
      • Review
        • Go over the moments of the day, especially noting the parts that were beneficial and detrimental to your soul
          • This is the “meat” of the Examen
      • Repent
        • Seek forgiveness for the times that you acted contrary to God’s will
      • Resolve
        • Decide how you will change your behavior/attitude for tomorrow
    • All of these parts are important
      • It’s what makes this a spiritual practice instead of an intellectual one
      • But sometimes you might want to do a “mini-examen”, or you need to ease your way into it
    • "High, Low, God"
      • Basically the “Review” part, abbreviated:
        • What was a high point?
        • What was a low point?
        • Where did you see God?
      • After each reading, we’ll pause for a moment to let you reflect  


    Readings are done by three people: one representing Jesus, one representing Jesus' supporters, and one representing Jesus' opponents. They each wear a white, green, or red stole, respectively, to help clarify their roles. 

    Who Do You Say That I Am?: Mark 8:22-30
    Hymn GTG #452, “Open the Eyes of My Heart” [1x through]

    Take Up Your Cross: Mark 8:31-9:1
    Hymn GTG #718, “Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said” [vv. 1, 2, & 4]

    The Transfiguration: Mark 9:2-13
    Hymn GTG #190, “Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory” [vv. 1 & 2]

    The Disciples Fail to Heal: Mark 9:14-24
    Hymn GTG #731, “Give Thanks for Those Whose Faith Is Firm” [vv. 1 & 4]

    Another Passion Prediction: Mark 9:25-32

    Leader: This is the Word of the Lord!
    People: Thanks be to God!

    Hymn GTG #414, “Be Still and Know” [3x total – you are welcome to sing in a round!]

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