Worship – March 15th

How to use this resource:
Set aside intentional time to read the below words, watch the video, and be in prayer. Gather together everyone in your house for this time. Treat the time and space as sacred: shut of electronics, silence the cell phones, and minimize distractions. Designate someone to lead the unbolded parts of these pieces (or take turns!). After you have gone through the pieces, be sure to take time to reflect upon what you have heard and seen.

Welcome and Introduction

Gathering
One: Jesus met the blind man at the city gate.
All: Jesus met the crowds at the edge of the sea.
One: Jesus met the leper in his pain.
All: And Jesus met the Samaritan woman in her isolation.
One: So with confidence we declare—
All: Jesus meets us here.
One: For we too are the blind and the broken, the hurting and the bleeding.
All: Jesus meets our scars, our fears, our prayers, and our dreams.
One: So you are welcome as you are.
All: All are welcome as they are.

Prayer of Confession
Gracious God,
When it comes to our faith, we know we could learn from the Samaritan woman who ran through the streets singing your name.
Forgive us for the times when we remain silent about what our faith means to us.
Forgive us for the times when we choose comfort over bravery.
And forgive us for the times we shut people out, missing opportunities to run into you.


[Silence for Reflection]

Teach us to be brave like the Samaritan woman, and saturate our thirst for that which leaves us thirsty.
With hope and gratitude we confess.
With hope and gratitude we pray,
Amen!

Word

Read John 4:5-42 together – Take turns! It is a long, but really good story!

Message

Response

Questions for Discussion:
Where have you experienced being at the margins of a community or group of people?

What did/does it feel like to be judged because of a single action or a series of actions?

Why do you think Jesus seeks this solitary woman out?

What were her responses to Jesus’ conversation with her? (There are several!)

How can we live out the message of this Gospel reading today? Who are we called to seek out and what are we supposed to do with them?

Song for the Day

Prayers
Holy God,
whose Spirit moved over the waters at the dawn of creation,
hear our prayers for all who thirst today.

We pray for those who are spiritually thirsty,
who long to know Your presence, but don’t know where to find You.
We pray for those who are alone and without hope,
those who long to feel needed and loved,
those who are searching for meaning and purpose.

God of Grace, pour down Your waters,
Heal Your people.

We pray for all who are physically thirsty,
who don’t have enough water to drink, or feed their animals,
whose fields are parched, whose crops have withered;
those who have to walk long distances to find enough water to survive,
or who have to be content with water that is unclean.
We pray for those whose homes and villages are torn apart
because of drought or famine.

God of Grace, pour down Your waters,
Heal Your people.

We pray for those who are thirsty for justice,
who long for an equal sharing of resources among peoples and nations;
those who put their lives at risk to protect streams and rivers and oceans;
those who are working to find clean water,
and make it available to those who need it.

God of Grace, pour down Your waters,
Heal Your people.

God, we ask that you would open our hearts to the needs of all who thirst.
Give us courage to work together for justice,
to stand alongside those who are thirsty,
so that all people, everywhere, may live without want or fear,
and may discover the abundant life You promise to each one.
In the name of Jesus Christ—the source of living water—we pray.
Amen.

Closing Reflection – By Sarah Are
We sat around a six person table,
For don’t most holy moments happen
around a table?
Six women, six heartbeats, six names and identities.

We gathered there once every twelve days,
To read and pray, to learn each other’s names.
It was nothing more than a burger bar,
And we were nothing more than the truths
we shared,
So sitting around a basket of fries,
I assumed I knew everyone there.

But then the woman directly to my right
Said quietly to the group of six that night,
“I had an abortion when I was young.”
And my heart stopped. And my heart sunk.

For she had kept this wilderness in.
She had carried this weight alone.
She had grieved and prayed for peace,
And I had never even known.

She went on to speak of hurt and grief,
Of a prayer to God to end suffering.
She went on to tell us her most
vulnerable truth,
And in an instant that small leather booth
Became church.

For in naming the wilderness,
that space became
Not only the place of her greatest pain,
But also the place where we became
One.

In an instant, she became her own light.
And in an instant, we were changed.
For in that instant, we saw her
wilderness walk,
So in that instant, we became
Six names, six united identities,
one heartbeat.

I think the wilderness does that.
Sometimes you walk it alone.
And sometimes you tell that story
And a booth becomes home.

Sending
Let us go into the wilderness of the world to find the lost and hurting…
We go because God goes with us!


Gathering, Confessing Prayer and Closing Reflection by Sarah Are | A Sanctified Art LLC | sanctifiedart.org
Message Woman at the Well – By Chris Kinsley
Song of the Day – Oceans for Hillsong United
Prayers by Christine Longhurst and edited by Adam Barnhart