Here is the Call to Worship we’ll be using for Easter to cap off our Real Life Faith series. This was written by Thom M. Shuman.
by Thom M. Shuman
This is the day:
when tears are wiped away;
shattered hearts are mended;
fears are replaced with joy.
This is the day the Lord:
rolls away the stone of fear;
throws off death’s clothes;
goes ahead of us into God’s future.
This is the day the Lord has made:
death has no fear for us;
sin has lost its power over us;
God opens the tombs of our hearts to fill us with life.
This is the day – Easter Day!
Christ is Risen! Hallelujah!
O Christ we come to worship you,
knowing we’ve surely denied you at some point this week.
Maybe not in our words but by our actions we have not always claimed you as our Master.
Still you give up everything for us.
Still the Spirit clings to us and fills us with every breath,
convicting and forgiving us, loving and leading us along the way.
Be with us this week
and give us strength to bear witness to your sacrificial love.
For week 5 of the Real Life Faith series based on John 8:1-11
O God, sin has been sucking the life out of us all week.
Forgive us. Renew us.
Jesus tells us, we’re forgiven before we even ask!
Thanks be to God! Help us to sin no more.
And when we do, forgive us again,
most gracious God whom we worship this day.
For week 4 of the Real Life Faith series based on Luke 15:11-32
God, we’ve messed up.
If not this week, at some point in our lives we’ve hurt you.
We’ve run off with your gifts and squandered them.
We’ve felt entitled to your blessings and jealous of your grace.
But you’re here with open arms,
running to us while we’re still far off,
welcoming us back, rejoicing over our return.
Thank you, God. We cannot say thank you enough.
O God, we’ve worked hard all week
to be somebody and make something of ourselves.
You call us to worship now
and here in your presence we are able to just be.
You tell us we’re salt and light, so help us take off our self-made masks
and just be the salty, bright people you made us to be!
Let’s worship our Creator
who made us exactly what we need to be.
God, we’ve been going in circles all week.
We can’t get these worries out of our head.
But you call us to worship now, to refocus on You;
Your love that is never in debit and your grace that knows no limit.
Your mercies are new each morning!
Remind us we start each day with a clean slate.
Lent begins tomorrow in a crazy collision with Valentines Day! As preachers prepare for Sunday, I offer hymn suggestions for my Real Life Faith sermon series. Download them here: Real Life Faith Hymn Suggestions
I also have the first Call to Worship for week 1 of this series, ‘Prepare The Way’:
We are called to this holy season of Lent
to make space for God in our lives.
So much crowds up our calendars and minds,
we lose touch with our Creator.
But God calls us away from shame or guilt
and welcomes us back to awareness with love every time.
May we use this season to give up that which kills us and pulls away
from the great love of our God who we worship today.
During the season of Lent, it’s become tradition at our church to share our testimonies in worship. Sharing our stories is the most powerful thing we can do and Lent is a perfect time to include them in worship! I ask different people to prepare their testimony and have them engage with a symbolic act that connects with our theme.
This year, our theme is Real Life Faith, so I’m having each person who shares drop a piece of broken ceramic ware into a garbage can that will be at the base of our large cross. When it drops it will hopefully break even more. Each week the broken pieces will pile up and then after Palm Sunday, an artist in our congregation will take the pieces and create a mosaic design on a flower pot.
On Easter morning, the flower pot will be displayed with an Easter Lily inside symbolizing how God brings new life from our brokenness.
I’m giving each of our speakers the following prompt to help them think about a story they can share that will connect to our theme:
Good morning, I’m _______________________
During this season of Lent, we are getting real about faith. For me, faith…
(or my relationship with God… continue with a story about a faith struggle or a time when you didn’t get it right but found grace or a second chance.)
Conclude with: “Join me this Lent in giving up shame and guilt. [drop dish into can] Allow God’s grace to fill in your cracks and restore the brokenness of your soul.”
I hope this will inspire you to encourage faith sharing in your congregation!
Happy almost Lent and happy planning!
Lent begins in just over a week! We’re gearing up for our Real Life Faith series!
In my last post I shared the series outline for this 6-week look at how faith actually gets lived out in real life. This is the image we’ll be using on our bulletin covers and here is the unison Prayer for Illumination we’ll be using for these 6 weeks:
God of Life, help us know you’re present with us always, with mercies fresh each day. Journey with us and help us grow in faith so our lives will better reflect the love of Christ, in whom we live and pray. AMEN
I’ll be posting a Call to Worship for each Sunday in the weeks ahead so stay tuned and happy planning!
Faith is not a picture perfect endeavor. People that strive to follow Jesus don’t always get it right. A lot of time we’re just as a mess as anyone else. Thankfully, God gives us a fresh start every day. Every hour is a clean slate!
This year, for the 6 weeks of Lent we’ll be getting real about our faith at my church. The inspiration for this series came from the music of Godspell. That’s why on the series outline you’ll see a Godspell anthem that connects with the theme however, that is a totally optional part of this series. I’ll be posting a bulletin cover, unison prayer, and calls to worship in the weeks ahead so stay tuned for more lenten resourcey goodness.
Download the series outline here: Real Life Faith Sermon series