Call to Worship from Isaiah 35
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
Say to those who are of a fearful heart,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God.”
Glory be to the Creator, and to the Christ, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.
Opening Scripture: Isaiah 43: 1-3, 16, 18-19
But now thus says the Holy One:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . .
who makes a way in the sea,
a path in the mighty waters.
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.
Jesus, you are the way through the wilderness: show us your truth in which we journey, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit be in us the life that draws us to God. Amen.
(source: F.B. McNutt, The Prayer Manual [London: Mowbray, 1961], p. 29, adapted)
Scripture: Mark 9:30-37
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
Silent and/or Spoken Reflections
Offering Our Prayers
Holy One, even in the midst of the wilderness, we rejoice with joy and singing. Hear now our prayers of thanksgiving. [God of life, . . . we give you thanks.]
Holy One, it feels at times as if we must pass through the waters and walk through the fire. Do not let us be overwhelmed. Grant us your peace and receive these concerns we carry in our hearts . . . [God, in your mercy . . . hear our prayer.]
Prayer from Hildegard of Bingen
O comforting fire of Spirit,
Life, within the very Life of all Creation.
Holy you are in giving life to All.
Holy you are in anointing
those who are not whole;
Holy you are in cleansing
a festering wound.
O sacred breath,
O fire of love, . . .
enfold those who offer blessing.
Care for those
who are imprisoned by the enemy
and dissolve the bonds of those
whom Divinity wishes to save.
O mightiest path which penetrates All,
from the height to every Earthly abyss,
you compose All, you unite All. . . .
Therefore, praise be to you
who are the sound of praise
and the greatest prize of Life,
who are hope and richest honor
bequeathing the reward of Light.
Benediction from Saint Clare
Live without fear: your Creator has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Go in peace to follow the good road and may God’s blessing be with you always. Amen.