Second Sunday in Lent (Year C)

Opening Sentences 

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
    The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
    One thing we ask of the Lord; this we will seek:
    to live in the presence of God;
    to see the beauty of God;
    to seek the truth of God. 
    --adapted from Psalm 27 

Prayer of Confession 

  • Gracious God: Your Son Jesus Christ wept over Jerusalem
    and longs to gather your children under the wings of your love.
    We confess that often our thoughts, words and actions
    have betrayed the goodness you have shown to us.
    We have spurned your word and grieved your heart.
    Forgive us, loving God.
    Though we have wandered far from home,
    help us to know that we are never out of the reach of your love.
    Give us grace to hear your call so that we might return to you.
    Lead us again to embrace the truth of your Word
    and to trust your never failing love;
    through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Assurance of Pardon 

  • Can a woman forget her nursing child, 
    or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
    Even these may forget, says the Lord, yet I will not forget you.
    I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. from Isaiah 49:15-16
    Believe the good news of the Gospel: in Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

In the prayers of intercession, include prayers for the city of Jerusalem, and for peace in the Middle East. The following prayer is from Churches for Middle East Peace. Additional prayers and worship resources can be found here.

Blessed Jesus, lifting up the holy land for all humankind, breathe love into our prayers with a desire for nothing other than peace: peace in our hearts, peace for all creation, and especially peace in the land that is called holy.

God of hope, we lift up the city of Jerusalem, distracted and divided, yet still filled with promise as all the cities of the world. Jesus, ride again into our cities, temples, Upper Rooms and Gethsemanes, that we may be given sight to recognize you.

God of mercy, even as we long to understand that which is often beyond our comprehension, we lay before you the hearts, minds and bodies of all those suffering from conflict in Palestine and Israel. Shower upon all holy people of the Holy Land the spirit of justice and reconciliation.

God of the nations, be with the Palestinian people who watch from afar the suffering of their families and friends. Be with the Palestinian communities in the United States. Grant them comfort and hope in these stressful days.

Written by John Paarlberg, pastor of First Church in Albany, New York