Since our church must remain scattered, many will face a sting like the lonely, deadly desert. Like Ezekiel, some of us might feel, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ And like Mary and Martha whose brother was gravely ill, we may call out in hope. Even so, our God is alive, faithfully with us, creating new life from death.
Gathering song: Christ, whose glory fills the skies (HWB #216)
Call to Worship
Lenten Sundays are intended to help believers anticipate death, and life, and resurrection. As we worship today, we acknowledge the power of the living God over death. God promised through Ezekiel (chapter 37): “You, my people, will know that I am the Lord when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you ... Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it”.
God, into a silent void you spoke, creating life - matter from nothing, flesh from dust, life from lifelessness. Jesus, as we wait for new life, give us hope. Spirit, show us your holy power that we may fully believe. We wait, believing that you can bring life out of nothing. Amen.
Song: When in the hour of deepest need (HWB #131)
Prayer of Confession (from Psalm 130)
In the dry of the desert, I know my sin. When I am alone, my fears are strong, and I forget the suffering of others too easily.
[Quietly pray for others who are suffering at this time]
When you keep a record of my sin, I cannot stand.
[Quietly pray about an area of your life where you need forgiveness and new life]
I wait for you, Lord; my whole being waits for you more than night watchers wait for the morning. In God’s word I put my hope. Forgive my sin, give me faith. I believe that with you there is forgiveness, so that I can, with reverence, serve you.
[Quietly pray your thanks and worship]
Lord, I believe. Out of the depths I cry to you; hear my voice and be attentive to my cry for mercy . . . I understand trouble, and I understand trust and hope. I need your presence, your comfort, and your action.
Words of Assurance
Believers, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love, and with God is full redemption. God will redeem us from all our sin.
God promised, “I will put new breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord”.
God, we trust and hope that you will bring new life. Give us a spirit of true gratitude and generosity. We express our praise with compassionate gifts of prayer, time, and resources. Amen.
As you listen, you might also share your offering with the church.
Scripture reading: John 11:1-45
It was about this time of year, 22 years ago, that I was interviewing for what became my first pastoral position. Most of the questions in the interview were predictable. The search committee wanted to know about things like my faith story, my education and theology, and how I thought I’d connect with the young people of the congregation. The committee was friendly. The interview was going smoothly. But just when I thought things were wrapping up, it was the oldest member of the committee who threw me a curve ball.
He made reference to recent Canadian surveys that provided statistics for what everyone already knew anecdotally. By just the attendance numbers alone, the church in Canada appeared to be dying. And given that I was pursuing a vocation in the church, this gentleman wanted to know how I felt about climbing on board a sinking ship. Those were the exact words he used. A sinking ship.
Given that candidates and churches try to put their best and most optimistic foot forward in the hiring process, the question came as a sobering surprise. As much as I loved the church, did I really want to make this kind of commitment? Did I want to tie my livelihood to numbers that were trending in the wrong direction? Did I want to step onto a sinking ship?
In verse 16 of this morning’s scripture reading, the disciple Thomas would have been asking very similar questions. Just one chapter earlier, in John 10, the story had Jesus and his disciples at a festival in Jerusalem where they encountered hostility. The religious establishment didn’t like the way Jesus was describing his relationship with God. The situation got so heated that people were ready to stone Jesus, but he and his disciples managed to escape.
It’s from there that John 11 continues the story – with Jesus and the disciples far outside of Jerusalem, still fully engaged in ministry, but keeping a safe distance from those who were ready to kill Jesus. That’s where the call to come and help Lazarus reached Him. Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, had sent word that there brother was ill and needed Jesus’ healing touch.
But given where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived, this request wasn’t just for a simple house call over a health concern . . . because this family was from Bethany, just a few miles outside of Jerusalem, which was where those hostile people were waiting with their stones.
That threat of stoning didn’t seem to worry Jesus, though. Just like in the rest of John’s Gospel, Jesus took the invitation in stride because he was in total control of the situation. Even though the request he received was urgent and potentially dangerous, Jesus’ response was laid back, and he decided to take his time.
When he was finally ready to leave the safety of the Jordan River and make the trek to Bethany, the danger that awaited still didn’t seem to register with Jesus. But it absolutely did register with His friends! In fact it was Thomas, usually mocked for being really slow on the up-take, who was completely in tune with the potential consequences of this invitation.
Realizing they were going to visit to Lazarus in the Jerusalem suburb of Bethany, it was Thomas, who was called the Twin, that said to his fellow disciples, “let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Given how often the gospels portray the disciples as not getting it, as missing the boat, we could easily imagine Thomas’ comment to be snarky or sarcastic. “Sure, let’s all go to Jerusalem to see if we can’t all get ourselves killed!” It’s not hard to imagine that as the delivery.
But if we take the story at face value, Thomas’s words are definitely not sarcasm, and definitely do not miss the boat. In fact, this time, Thomas is totally on the boat, even though it seems like there’s a good chance the boat will be going down.
While Thomas is usually dubbed the doubter, in this scene he was the one who fully appreciated what Jesus needed to do, and fully appreciated what he had to be willing to do . . . if he wanted to count himself as a friend and follower of Jesus.
“Let us all go, that we may die with him.”
Even though today’s scripture story is meant to teach us about Jesus, and is meant to move us one big step closer towards Holy Week and Jesus’ passion, tucked away inside of the story is this inspiring example of discipleship – a willingness to go where Jesus goes even when we can see the journey might get really rough – and a willingness to compassionately suffer for Jesus’ sake.
Also hidden within this story is another different, but equally powerful expression of discipleship. Where Thomas’ expression was one of resolve to accompany Jesus even when the going got rough, Mary and Martha’s expression was that of a plea for Jesus to accompany them. In their fear of losing their brother, the two sisters called out for Jesus to show up – and they did it even though they knew how dangerous it would be for Jesus to again get that close to Jerusalem.
Like the disciples, Mary and Martha would have been well aware that Jesus’ last visit to Jerusalem nearly ended with a stoning. Like Thomas, they knew about the possible consequences. And yet, in spite of knowing the dangers of their invitation, Mary and Martha did what followers of Jesus do. They called for Jesus, hoping he could help with Lazarus, and because they wanted Jesus close by when life was hard for them.
By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany Lazarus was already dead – and not just a little bit dead. By the fourth day, even ancient people would have been convinced that Lazarus wasn’t going to mysteriously wake up, as though he had been sleeping.
So as far as Mary and Martha would have been concerned, Jesus had missed the opportunity for a healing. But still, even without a healing, Jesus was there to share in there tears and grieving. With or without a healing miracle, Jesus was present to offer comfort. And in that painful space, without an inkling that a miracle was still on the way, Martha’s faith was not only alive and well. It was growing.
"Jesus said to [Martha], “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."
Again, we have to remember that the story is really about Jesus and who he is. But tucked inside this part of the story, before we get any sign of Lazarus coming back to life, is the reminder that Jesus’ presence in our difficult times is enough. Right in the very middle of her grief Jesus asks Martha if she still believes. And, right in the middle of her grief the gospel writer holds up Martha’s faith as a beacon – “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the One anointed and sent by God.”
I’m sure your minds have already connected the dots – between the grief and confusion Mary and Martha would have been experiencing, and the current state of confusion we all find ourselves in. Like Mary and Martha’s experience of their brother’s death, we are all being swept along in a scenario that leaves us feeling confused, bewildered, and for the most part like things are definitely not in our control. Very much like the feelings people experience when grieving, most of us are feeling off-balance. We feel like we need to reach out and hold on to something solid.
So, like we do in the faith community when people have experienced loss and are grieving, and like Mary and Martha did, we call on Jesus to come closer and be a friend on the journey. Whether or not a miracle happens at the end of the story isn’t even the point, and certainly isn’t an expectation. We just want the Author of Love to be with us, to join us in our fears and tears, and to provide the stability we long for. So that is where we place our hopes and our prayers and our trust in these strange days and uncertain times.
And as we do that, we also remember that we are part of the something much, much bigger than these days and these times. As Christians we are part of something that has guided the lives and faith and worship of believers for two thousand years. As Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb, and as that ignites theestablishment’s anger against Jesus, we who are followers of Jesus know where we are headed.
Given how much we are talking these days about “flattening the curve,” and given how we are all trying to steady our emotional ups and downs, it’s a bit ironic that the church’s annual rhythm of worship will take us on a roller coaster for the next two weeks.
But as we anticipate and join in the high of Palm Sunday, and the intimacy of the Last Supper, and the pain of the Cross, and the grieving of the Saturday that follows, may all of you also anticipate the life-giving, life-altering thrill of Easter, and the confidence of knowing that even death is overcome by love. Amen.
Closing song: I am the bread of life (HWB #472)
“Come out!” Jesus called to Lazarus. Do not fear death, or life.
“Go out!” Jesus calls us, to live as God’s resurrected people.
This morning we invite you to join the worship service recorded by Mennonite Church Canada for congregations across Canada.
Join the service here: Mennonite Church Canada Worship Service.
The transcript of the service follows:
On this fourth Sunday of Lent, we enter the story of John 9. It is the story of the man who was born blind, who received sight as Jesus anointed his eyes with mud, and whose life was turned upside down by this new reality. This story was an important one in the early church because those who came to “see” the way of Jesus also had their lives upended and learned to find God in the midst of complexity and chaos. May the truth and beauty of this story also unfold among us today.
Call to Worship
In the barren landscapes of Lent,
we come, O God.
Together with people
from across the ages,
we seek you in difficult times,
in hard places.
tempted by Satan in the desert,
we come with all our fears
a Pharisee searching in the night,
we come with all our doubts and questions.
Like the Woman of Samaria,
alone at the community well,
we come with all our thirst and loneliness.
Like the man born blind,
yearning for vision,
we come with all our confusion and disorientation.
In our own strange and barren landscapes this Lent,
we come, O God, in faith and in hope.
Show us your way. Amen.
We come, O God,
seeking and questioning, thirsting and longing,
Meet us in our blindness, and touch us with your healing.
Grant us new ways of seeing, and guide us into new paths of living.
Draw us together, as your people, united in faith and hope
in this Lenten landscape of our time. Amen.
Song: For the Beauty of the Earth (Folliott S. Pierpoint; public domain)
For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For the beauty of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flower
sun and moon and stars of light:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
For thy church that evermore
lifteth holy hands above,
off’ring up on ev’ry shore
her pure sacrifice of love:
Lord of all, to thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.
Prayer of Confession
God, you always walk among us inhabiting with us
each place of beauty and joy
each moment of fear and pain
leaving traces of your Spirit, hints of your grace.
Forgive us when we have failed to see.
When self-interest and self-preservation
narrow our vision...
When anxiety and fear
cloud our sight...
When grasping and hoarding,
blind us to our neighbour’s need...
When grief and pain
dull our vision...
When we lose sight of you
and can no longer find our way...
Open our eyes once more, O God, that we might see.
Now hear these words of assurance:
The God who walks among us knows our blindness
heals our vision
opens our eyes.
This God appears to us, and empowers us to see. Amen.
Song: Fill us with Your Feast (Phil Campbell-Enns; used by permission)
Weary and tempted
we enter the desert,
desp’rately seeking your face--
lives that are thirsty and hearts that are lonely,
we will seek your embrace.
Find us empty and wandering:
we, the lost and the least.
Find us in the wilderness
then fill us with your feast.
Deep in our darkness
you enter in stillness,
offering comfort so bright.
Gathered together within your safe shelter,
darkness welcomes the light.
Seeking and trusting,
we turn from destruction,
wondering what you will bring.
God of the present, the past and the future,
come and do a new thing.
In these times of stocking our own homes with supplies, of social distancing, of communities dispersed and scattered, there continue to be acts of kindness and generosity, people reaching out to those in need, churches continuing their ministries to the marginalized, International Witness Workers walking alongside churches in other nations. Whenever you are able, we invite you to continue in this spirit of generosity, caring for others, and supporting your local congregation and the wider church in its many ministries.
Most of us are accustomed to an offering as part of our weekly worship service; when we are not physically gathered, that is, of course, no longer possible in the same way. So we invite you to embody new forms of this ritual through electronic donations and mailed cheques. May this, too, be a spiritual practice of love and care in these times of need.
Scripture Reading: John 9
Message: Doug Klassen’s sermon (transcript)
Song: Be Thou My Vision (public domain)
Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word;
I ever with thee, and thou with me, Lord.
Thou my great Father, thy child may I be,
thou in me dwelling and I one with thee.
Riches I heed not, nor vain empty praise;
thou mine inheritance, now and always.
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, when vict’ry is won
may I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’n’s Sun!
Heart of my heart, whatever befall,
still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Prayer for the Church and the World:
As we pray together, we want to hold before God the many challenges we face in these days. We remember Seniors, those with compromised health, those in quarantine, those who are grieving, those who have no safe places where they can retreat, those who are losing their incomes, parents searching for childcare, students studying at home, those hoping to graduate, over-taxed health care workers, and others offering essential services.
May our prayers rise together, across the nation, for each other, for our dispersed congregations, for our regional and nation-wide bodies, for our Witness Workers and partner churches around the globe. We pray also for the neighbourhoods and communities around us, for our world. Let's join together in this prayer, written by Carol Penner, and based St. Patrick’s Prayer of Protection:
We bind onto ourselves
the loving power of God our Creator,
the enlivening power of the Spirit of Truth,
and the steadfast faithfulness of Jesus Christ.
We bind onto ourselves
the glories of the earth, this gift:
the power of heaven,
the light of the sun,
the brightness of the moon,
the splendour of fire,
the flashing of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth.
Against the power of viruses,
against the sweep of pandemics,
against the selfishness that hoards for oneself,
against the anxiety that gnaws at our hearts, good Lord, protect us.
For all who are ill,
For all who are grieving,
and cannot be comforted,
hear our prayer, O God.
For all who are afraid or alone,
send your love.
For all those who lose income and lack provisions,
extend your hope, O God.
For all who care for the sick,
preserve and strengthen them.
For all who create healthcare strategies, make policies, and search for medical cures,
empower them, O God.
We bind to ourselves today
God's eye to watch over us,
God's ear to hear us,
God's hand to guide us.
Christ with us, Christ before us,
Christ behind us, Christ within us,
Christ beneath us, Christ above us,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.
With the steadfastness of God, our Rock,
and the love of Christ that will not let us go,
and the Spirit of Hope, who gives us peace,
we entrust this day. Amen.
As we close our time of worship,
may we be people of vision,
may we grow as a community of healing and hope,
may we offer to the world ministries of courage and love.
God is with us everywhere, always.
We are not alone. Amen.
Song: You’re Not Alone (Bryan Moyer Suderman; used by permission)
You’re not alone, we are one body.
You’re not alone, we stand with you.
You’re not alone, your time of suff’ring is our suff’ring too,
and I know the day is coming when we will be rejoicing anew.
Many members in this body that we know,
some are great and some are small:
eyes and ears and hands and just a little toe,
one God who activates them all.
One body, Spirit formed and Spirit fed,
diff’rent genders, rich and poor;
a banquet where the least sit at the head:
one body broken for the world.
Our Home Street faith community is not physically gathering for worship during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we continue to worship together across the distance. For all who want to join us in our dispersed worship, here is our worship service for this Third Sunday in Lent.
It is with gratefulness that we acknowledge our gathering on Treaty 1 land, and remind ourselves that we are all treaty people. And it is with humility that we who have come to this land more recently confess the harm we have done to those whose families have been here for hundreds and thousands of years.
As we join our voices and offer praise to our Creator, we trust that reconciliation and friendship and a peaceable future will grow out of this time of worship.
Call to worship
Come, let’s sing out loud to the Lord!
Let’s raise a joyful shout to the Rock of our Salvation!
Come, you who are thirst and can find no water in the desert.
We bring our questions, our complaints, to the Rock of our Salvation.
Come and see the One who speaks to us of living water.
Show us who you are and whowe are, O Jesus.
Let’s raise a joyful shout to the Rock of our Salvation!
It is our pleasure and privilege to be gathered as Your people, in Your presence.
God, we are here with eyes wide open, so that we might see what You want us to see.
We are here with ears tuned, so that we might hear Your voice.
And we are here with soft and tender souls, ready to be touched and shaped by Your gentle hand.
Come, Holy Spirit, do Your work among us as we faithfully offer our worship. Amen.
Follow this link to hear students from Rosthern Junior College sing “I will stand in the congregation. “ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2wAumQF7sI
Prayer of Confession
God of living waters, we confess that we have often turned from You and wandered in our own wilderness of fear and doubt. Our thirst mounts daily, and we turn to many things we believe will satisfy us.
Most acutely, God, we see the news and recognize how many among us have allowed fear to turn our focus inward, to our own personal security and the hoarding of goods. We confess the reflex to place our physical well-being ahead of the needs of others.
God, we also confess the moments during this past week when we have heard the news and recognized the changes that need to happen in our lives, and then selfishly considered the comforts and the luxuries we will need to give up. Where others don’t have bare necessities, and others are trying to heal from illness, our minds still turn to missed vacations, and shrinking retirement funds, and small inconveniences.
God, as we confess moments of self-centeredness, hear our silent prayers.
God, in this time of confession, we also lay before You the anxieties we have a hard time shaking. God, we confess that we need Your assurance and calming presence to dwell deeply within us. We confess that we long for an inner sense of Your peace during a time of uncertainty. We confess that we want to continue sharing Your love for neighbors, and strangers, and the vulnerable. And we confess that we will need Your strength to help us do this.
God, as we confess these things, hear our silent prayers.
Words of Assurance
Know that God has accepted your confessions, and met them by freely offering wells of salvation. Drink deeply and find healing, hope, and joy. God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
May knowing this, and believing this, help you live with a deep sense of peace. Amen.
Scripture Exodus 17: 1-7 and John 4:5-42
What a Friday afternoon!! I received emails from everywhere: St. Matthew’s- Maryland Community Ministry to Naturalizer Shoes, The United Church of Canada to Boston Pizza, Rexall Pharmacy to Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Mom and Dad’s retirement residence to Westgate Collegiate, Winnipeg Boys Choir to Home Street Mennonite Church ... and they are still coming!!
Tours are cancelled ... Curling is on but now it is off ... Keep shopping but keep our
employees and our shoppers safe ... Emergency procedures ... Prayer and ...
Church services are happening in a new way
Lots of procedures
Quite a bit of marketing
Some authentic care and concern
The occasional suggestion that together we will get through this pandemic
We are not unique. We are God’s people and like God’s people for millenia, we are living in a difficult time. But God has given us a sign of hope, just as God gave the Israelites a sign!
In the “Show Us ...” Lenten series we are following, today’s texts are about getting water from a rock and a well. They are about people living in difficult times experiencing God’s grace through God’s spokespeople, Moses and Jesus. Who will be the ones to speak and act God’s grace to God’s people today?
Those Israelites, emaciated, beaten and beaten down, were trekking through the desert because Moses told them that God had told him to take them out of slavery. Imagine that ... someone you don’t even know, a single person, saving the world as you knew it. Would you take that leap of faith? Would you follow a complete stranger’s instructions? Could they be worse than the life you were living? Surely, anything would be better.
Our ancestors did not have the road map we have today, with social media and departments of health, international communication and travel, the global village of which we are a part. They just put one foot in front of the other and trusted God. Some of us are better at that than others. We need to journey together!
Saturday morning found me having coffee with my friend Moses! No joke! Moses is a wise lay person living in Regina. (note: there is no toilet paper in stores there; this seems also to be the case for the Winkler Canadian Tire store).
My friend Moses expressed his deep hope that there would be a way for the people of our times to answer God’s call for us to love our neighbours, to reach out in compassion to each other, to have hope in the face of fear and despair. Why should God be asking anything different of us now than God has always asked? I also believe God is giving us an opportunity now to choose not to blame any particular person or group of people for our difficult times; to act differently than our Israelite forbears.
We look to our faith ancestors and their stories for their wisdom ... and what do we find, but a bunch of tired, cranky travellers who take out their frustration on the one person who has steadfastly responded to God’s call to free them from their oppression. I do understand that they would not be feeling their perkiest in the circumstances. I also understand that exhaustion can cause anyone to be stretched to unnatural points of endurance, often involving some mental health imbalance. But really, taking it out on Moses? After all he has done for them?
If you were Moses, what would you do? Would you double-down with your efforts, put up with the derision, and keep going? Would you stop in your tracks and rail at God? Would you say farewell and go your own way?
Moses talked with God (prayer), God responded with a plan (answer to prayer), Moses struck the rock (follow God’s call), and water gushed out (the people were satisfied). But we don’t hear that they were grateful or thankful to either Moses or God. That is truly an unfortunate, missing part of the story, but isn’t it also often part of our story? We can be unaware of God acting in our lives and just take things for granted; or so overwhelmed we just get on with our living without first offering thanksgiving; often our attention is diverted from the many times God’s living water is shown to us and we miss an opportunity to give thanks.
How we see God ... as saviour, punisher, provider, prayer-answerer or something else; whether we know God through our neighbours or complete strangers or whether we understand God to be beyond us; how we name God’s actions in our lives will define how we understand our Christ, Jesus.
When the woman went to the well, she did not use God-language, she did not profess the Hebrew faith, and she certainly did not expect to be having a conversation with a male foreigner about living water. And yet, in the time that she spent with Jesus, she came to know God, to understand love, to find worth and value in herself, and to be transformed enough to become a messenger to others in her town. This is a miracle that is not beyond us in these times.
When the Israelites went to the slave pens that day, they did not expect to be freed; when we woke up on Wednesday morning, we did not expect there to be a declaration of a pandemic that afternoon. And yet, complete strangers have stepped in to offer solutions, to share prayer, to build confidence, to act as God’s messengers in a difficult time.
We might think at first that arguing with and testing God will be our best course of action, but as we take these first tentative steps on this journey, may we remember that God has shown us that water flows from rock and that living water is constantly available to us. May we breathe deeply, trust in God’s moments of salvation, hope abundantly and reach out generously in the name of our Christ. And may God’s will be done here on earth, as in heaven. Amen.
Follow this link to listen to a lovely version of “I heard the voice of Jesus say” recorded by Audrey Assad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mXMQqiLW9c
Prayers of the people
A thoughtful and challenging prayer posted on Facebook this past week. Original author unknown.
Holy and faithful God,
In light of the week we have experienced, and the challenges that still lie ahead,
may we who follow Your Son remain humble.
May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home,
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close,
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips,
remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market,
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home,
remember those who have no home.
As fear, uncertainty and disruption become more evident, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Now God, hear us declare Your sovereignty, and remind ourselves of the world You long for, as we pray the prayer Jesus taught us . . .
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours, now and forever, AMEN.
We have seen the Rock of our Salvation, and we have quenched our thirst
for the living water that gives our lives purpose and meaning.
Let us go now to meet those who thirst for God.
Let us go to listen, just as Jesus does with us.
And let us bring the Spirit’s wholeness to others. Amen.
We are grateful to Leader magazine for worship materials, to Phil Campbell-Enns for writing and assembling the service, to Patricia Baker for the meditation, to Bryn Friesen Epp for the photo, to Matthew Fransen for choosing the hymns, and to Pearl Toews Neil for sharing the prayer on Facebook.