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Call to Worship – March 31, 2019

We gather in praise of a God whose love will not let us go.  He constantly seeks us, never allowing us to evade or escape His ceaseless compassion for us in all the situations which confront us in life.  Through the biblical patriarchs, prophets, and kings He reaches out to us, and then through disciples and apostles in later times.  Most of all He seeks us through the prophet and parable teller from Nazareth, whose life and death we especially remember again at this time of year.  Let us therefore with confidence worship God.


Pastoral Prayer


            Gracious God, we give Thee thanks for the gift of life, and for everything that adds richness and meaning to our existence: all the people who surround us and love us; other people in our community, nation, and world whom we do not know but who help make the world a much more pleasant and productive place; for the bounty of the Earth itself, with the plethora of benefits that nature affords us; and most of all for Thy presence with us, sustaining us whatever comes our way.  Help us constantly to live in gratitude for Thine unending goodness.


            We pray for people who recently have been told potentially very bad news regarding their health, and who are uncertain what to do, or not do.  May they receive inner peace and calm by a unique indwelling of Thy presence within them.  Grant strength to those who are experiencing increasing pain that is unlikely ever to abate.  Be with those whose spirit has flagged for whatever reason, and whose zest for life has also inevitably flagged.  Bestow inner peace on those whose minds have become entangled with conflicted and disconcerting thoughts, who wonder whether they shall ever know tranquility again.


            As we draw closer to Holy Week and all it portends, we ask for a deepened understanding of the life and ministry of Jesus, our Messiah, praying that his teachings may become more and more incorporated into our thinking and actions.  Increase our faith in Thee through an increased awareness of his proclamations about Thee and Thy kingdom.  Enable us to enter joyfully into his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and then to walk with him along the Via Dolorosa to that green hill far away, outside a city wall.  Most of all, speak to our hearts that we sense anew the majesty of the declaration that Christ is risen, that indeed above all else, he is risen.  These things we ask in his name.  Now we pray together as he taught us, saying, Our Father….

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