Worship

Lent Paradoxes - Dying to Live

Introduction

This worship series arose out the Paradox theme chosen and developed for preaching by Jubilee's Pastor Duane VanderLaan in 2010.

This presentation includes those parts of the service where the words are developed directly from the theme. Most of the services' songs and elements are left to the imagination and practice of local churches.

By using your keyboard arrow keys you can move up and down (seven steps) among the weeks to compare corresponding parts, and you can move left and right (three steps) to see the development from the opening, through the confession to the assurance. You can also click the menu items on the left and the gold dot page markers at the top.

This liturgy may be freely modified for use in a church service without attribution, though a reference somewhere to Jubilee Fellowship CRC and to this web site would be welcome. Anywhere else, the rights are as indicated in the right hand column. To copy more than one page view at a time set your browser to View | Style | No Style

Paradox: Losing Life to Find It

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, where do you find life?
Our life is in the Lord, who suffered and died so that we might live.
(the first candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. Along the way the people of Israel waved their palm branches and greeted him as king, but a king who would serve their own political purposes. We, too, often look to Jesus to serve our own needs--needs that ultimately result in death, not the life that Jesus offers us.
As a symbol of our confession, we lay down these palms along a path of our choosing, towards empty pleasures, knowing full well that the path of Jesus is different, and better - that the way of the cross leads to an eternal life of abundance with our Lord.

(song of confession)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Losing Life to Find It

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You are faithful, loving, worthy of trust and praise.
But we are disloyal, prone to hate and undeserving.
Lord, You are our the true source of hope and strength.
But we are tempted to rely on our selves to accomplish good and to overcome evil.
Without God's help we fail.

Lord we confess to living more as citizens of our own land than of your kingdom.
Forgive us for consulting the wisdom of people before coming to you in prayer.
Forgive us for relying on the here and now rather than on your enduring Word.
Help us to trust in your son Jesus, and to find rest in the promises that were made in His blood.
Help us to surrender, to your will and purpose, everything that we count important -- all that distracts us from You.
In Jesus name, Amen.

(silent prayer, concluded by singing)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Losing Life to Find It

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
Christ promises us: If you lose your life . . . you will surely find life in Me. . .
Together, let us proclaim the words of Psalm 73, our assurance that, in God, we have all we need:
Lord, you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

Paradox: Being a Fool is Being Wise

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, how do you know how to live?
The wisdom of God is our guide. We live by Christ crucified.
(one more candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. This journey began at the dawn of Creation, when God, in his wisdom created a wonderful world for his children to live in.
But the path of perfect laws that God laid down for us was soon ignored, and to this day we like to go our own way, believing instead whatever worldy wisdom appeals to us. Jesus, the wise Creator, and now our Redeemer, calls us back to the simple wisdom of life filled with His Spirit.

(song of confession)

. . . Paradox: Being a Fool is Wise

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You are wise beyond all measure.
But we like to think that we know better.
You call us to live according to your perfect laws.
But we laugh at the folly of so many 'restrictions'.
Without God, we understand nothing.

Lord we confess to being so full of ourselves that
we have no room anymore for your Spirit of wisdom.

Forgive us for boasting about ourselves and our achievements.
Forgive us for honouring those who make their own way in the world.

Help us to be wise followers of the cross in all that we do.
Help us to be fools in the eyes of the world.

In Jesus name, Amen.

(silent prayer, concluded by singing)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Being a Fool is Being Wise

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
Jesus promises us: If you foolishly follow the cross . . . you will become wise . . .
Together, let us proclaim the words of Psalm 104, our assurance that, in God, we have all we need:
How many are your works, O LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.

When you send your Spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works-

I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.

Paradox: Gaining Through Giving

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, what do you count as gain?
The gift of Christ, who gave himself up for us.
(one more candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
But we, who claim this gift for ourselves, are quick to leave the path of self-sacrifice that Jesus sets before us. We like to line our own nests with the comforts that we crave, even while our neighbours are lacking. As a symbol of our confession, we lay down these palms for a soft bed of our own making, knowing full well that the Son of Man had nowhere to lay his head.

(song of confession)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Gaining Through Giving

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You have given us a world to live in, and your only Son to redeem it.
But we tend to take it all for granted, and keep it for ourselves.
You call us to love our neighbour as ourself.
But we often pass by on the other side.
Without God we become selfish.

Lord we confess that we have not always done for others what we like to have done for ourselves.
Forgive us for making our prosperity the goal of the gospel.
Forgive us for storing up treasures on earth.
Help us to give without thought of receiving.
Help us to give without thought of receiving.
Help us to follow You.
In Jesus name, Amen

(silent prayer, concluded by singing)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Gaining Through Giving

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
If you give . . . you will receive . . .
Assured of God's goodness, let us proclaim the words of Psalm 111:
Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.

He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.....

He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.

Paradox: Have Nothing Yet Everything

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, who gives you everything?
We have everything, through Christ who gave everything up for our gain
(one more candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. Jesus' journey was not complicated. It was simply focussed by Jesus' love for the world, without any thought to the worldy trappings of power and possesions.
We, who are so busy with so many things, are losing sight of the joys that come from living simply, in love. We look for happiness in a grab-barrel piled high with gadgets, decorations and expectations. But Jesus calls us to throw off our palm branches and come with open and empty hands to the promise of abundant life.

(song of confession)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Have Nothing Yet Everything

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You are our all-in-all. We need nothing more.
But we are not content and keep looking for extras.
You call us to live simply, with our eyes fixed on Jesus.
But our sight is full of the world and all of its pleasures.
In the end, it is God . . . or nothing.

Lord we confess that we easily get distracted, forgetting the simple things that bring us joy.
Forgive us for being discontented.
Forgive us for avoiding the hurt in this world.
Help us to be content, whatever our circumstances.
Help us to live in the moment.
In Jesus name, Amen.

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Have Nothing Yet Everything

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
Jesus promises us: If you become poor . . . you will be made rich . .
Together, let us proclaim the words of Psalm 84, our assurance that, in God's dwelling place, we are blessed:
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed are those who trust in you.

Paradox: Strength in Weakness

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, who gives you your strength?
My strength is found in Christ, who became weak so that we might live.
(one more candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. Jesus' journey was not complicated. It was simply focussed by Jesus' love for the world, without any thought to the worldy trappings of power and possesions.
We, who are so busy with so many things, are losing sight of the joys that come from living simply, in love. We look for happiness in a grab-barrel piled high with gadgets, decorations and expectations. But Jesus calls us to throw off our palm branches and come with open and empty hands to the promise of abundant life.

(song of confession)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Strength in Weakness

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You have created the world to be very good for us.
But we try to do better, to fix what you have already finished.
You call us to rest from our scheming and to enjoy all that we have from you.
But we gather more than we need and boast about our busy-ness.
Only God can provide for us.

<Lord we confess that we try to live in our own strength,
rather than the strength of our dependence on You.

Forgive us for pumping ourselves up.
Forgive us for imposing ourselves on others.
Help us to draw our all of our energy and direction from you.
Help us to soar on eagle's wings.
In Jesus name, Amen.

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Strength in Weakness

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
Jesus promises us: If you become weak . . . you will be made strong . . .
Together, let us joyfully proclaim these words from Psalm 118
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can human beings do to me?

The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies....

I was pushed back and about to fall,
but the LORD helped me.

The LORD is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation...

The LORD's right hand is lifted high;
the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"

I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the LORD has done. ----

Paradox: Humble are Exalted, Exalted are Humbled

GOD CALLS US TO WORSHIP

(invocation:)
People of God, who lifts you up?
We are exalted by God, who humbled himself through his Son.
(one more candle is lit to symbolize this gift)

(greetings and songs)

WE GO OUR OWN WAY

In this season of Lent we follow Jesus as he journeyed to the cross. Along the way the people of Israel waved their palm branches and greeted him as king, a king who would restore Israel to greatness. While Jesus chose to ride a donkey, we, like the Israelites, prefer stallions and look for others to praise us and raise us up to the worthy status we think we deserve.
As a symbol of our confession, we lay down these palms along the path to self; self-awareness, self-fulfillment, self-reliance and self-satisfaction. But we know that Jesus, to save us from ourselves, gave himself up for us, serving us so that we may find ourselves, at last, in the first place of humble service.

(song of confession)

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Humble are Exalted, Exalted are Humbled

Prayer of Confession

Lord, You came to serve us, because you love us.
But we tend to love ourselves first, and serve you second.
You call us to honour each other and take a lower place for ourselves.
But we often push our way to the front.
God has no equal.

Lord we confess that we are not worthy to be called your children,
and yet we make claims to an inheritance of pride and pleasure.

Forgive us for forgetting to be servants.
Forgive us for demanding service.
Help us stoop to wash the feet of our neighbour.
Help us to soar on eagle's wings, not our own.
In Jesus name, Amen.

more . . .
. . . Paradox: Humble are Exalted, Exalted are Humbled

CHRIST GOES THE WAY OF THE CROSS

(candle snuffed . . . and relit . . . as the following is read)
Jesus promises us: If you humble yourselves . . . you will be exalted . . .
Together, let us proclaim the words of Psalm 92:
It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name, O Most High,

For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD;
I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

Though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be forever destroyed.

But you, O LORD, are exalted forever.
You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;
fine oils have been poured upon me.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
Planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.

Paradox: Dying to Live

Coming after Lent and the Good Friday Tenebrae service that Jubilee observes, the Easter Sunday service cannot be other than markedly different, so it is not detailed here. With the sermon theme, 'Dying to Live', the Lent paradoxes were brought to their fulfillment in Christ's death and ressurection.

Liturgy
Lent Paradoxes
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Introduction

Lent 1: Losing Life to Find It

Lent 2: Being a Fool is Wise

Lent 3: Gaining Through Giving

Lent 4: Have Nothing Yet Everything

Lent 5: Strength in Weakness

Lent 6: Humble are Exalted, Exalted are Humbled

Easter: Dying to Live

Church:
Jubilee Fellowship CRC
Author:
Henry de Jong
Occasion:
Lent, 2010
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share alike

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