Evangelectionary for Sunday, March 12, Second Sunday in Lent

Texts: Genesis 12:1-4; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9

Message: “Listen to Him!”

Now when God is directly quoted, we who read better pay attention!  This word directly from God Himself was first for the disciples who were present, but the synoptic gospel  writers intended that it also be heard by all those disciples then…and  now who would follow after them.  And that includes US!

It is a great tribute to our Lord that we should build inspiring edifices all over the world dedicated to our Lord which lift up the writings of Moses (Law), Elijah (Prophets), and Jesus (Gospel).  But when God speaks directly, and imperatively we better all pay attention and really hear this admonition as directed to ourselves personally: “Listen to Him!”

There are so many voices in our world competing for our attention and action: political voices, social voices, culture voices, ethnic voices, generational voices, voices that are telling us how to be prosperous, how to succeed, how to make money, how to survive and flourish in the world in which we live…while Sunday after Sunday, week after week, we come to worship listening to that One and Only voice that is above every other voice, the voice of our Savior, the voice of our Lord, Jesus.

What if we did that every day?  First asked ourselves: “What does Jesus say?’  Then “What does Jesus say to me?”  And finally, “What am I going to do about what Jesus says?

Illustrations:

If we were to find ourselves somewhere without access to a Bible, and we were asked to sit down and write as many of the actual words of Jesus as we could remember, how do you think you would do?

The Cactus League is in full swing here in the Valley of the Sun and the Chicago Cubs have a new ball park in Mesa.  It reminds me of a story about a dog who wandered out on to the field of play during a professional major league game somewhere, deciding to sit down right on third base.  Everyone began yelling at the dog, who was totally confused by all the voices he was hearing…”Run for home,” and “Bite the Ump!” were among the commands that were shouted.  The dog was hopelessly confused by it all. Then suddenly he heard of the voice of his master.  Once he heard that he immediately got up and responded to what his master said.  What would happen if all the disciples of Jesus listened for the master’s voice, and hearing it followed his command?  Do you hear what I hear?

Music: “Swiftly Pass the Clouds of Glory,” “Jesus on the Mountain Peak,” “Christ We Climb With You the Mountain”

Call to Worship

This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Opening Prayer

Our Lord Savior and Lord, help us this day to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  (2 Cor. 4:5-7; 16-18)  Grant that we may be among those who listen, hear, understand and obey; this day and every day.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Prayer of Confession

We confess, holy God, that we are not the persons we should be, nor the persons we could be, nor even the persons we seem to be.  What’s more, we haven’t been all that concerned.  We’ve been content to drift along as best we can, without being very intentional about our inward health.  Other things have preoccupied our minds, and we haven’t always given you first place in our lives.  Pardon us, we pray, and enliven us with your Holy Spirit to new heights of awareness and spiritual growth.

Words of Assurance

Thus says the Lord…Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  Isaiah 43:1

Prayer of Thanks

O Lord, we give thanks to you for your abundant mercies and gracious presence in our lives.  Thank you for the hope that Jesus brings to our broken lives and spirits.  Thank you that our hope is not shallow and empty, but founded upon the rock which is higher than we are.  May our joy and gladness in the gospel be seen and heard every day in all we do and say, to the glory of God and the mission of Jesus Christ to the world.  Amen

Offertory Sentence

All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God.  Deut. 16:17

Offertory Prayer

Gracious Heavenly Father, we are recalling the words of our Savior, Jesus, who said:” It is more blessed to give, than to receive” and to whom much is given much is required.”  In the light of His words we bring these tithes and offerings to you now.

Benediction

“Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”  Hebrews 12:1

(Prayers and other worship items courtesy of Leroy Koopman @ Liturgical Publications.  Subscribers are permitted to reprint material in non-profit publications only; all other reproduction is prohibited.  2013 Liturgical Publications Inc, LPi Resource Center, P.O. Box 510817, New Berlin, WE 53151-0817, 1-800-950-9952 ext. 2469)

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