24 February 2016

A Lenten Devotion (Week 3)

O Christ, you offer us healing; may we live by your life.

O Christ, you renew our hope; may we live by your life.

O Christ, you sat at the table with sinners; may we live by your life.

O Christ, you raised up your friend Lazarus; may we live by your life.

O Christ, you forgave Peter when he repudiated you and you called him to follow you; may we live by your life.

O Christ, in you our resurrection has already begun; may we live by your life.

Prayer for Each Day, 1997 and 1998 Ateliers et Presses de Taize

17 February 2016

A Lenten Devotion (Week 2)

Jesus said, "The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?" (Luke 9:22-25)

For the victims of war and violence, we pray.

For those wounded by the constraints and the harshness of life, O God, we pray.

For the elderly and the ill who are alone, we pray.

For those who devote their energies to restoring peace, to creating justice, to helping those we suffer, O God, we pray.

O Christ, you died and rose for us so that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God.

Prayer for Each Day, 1997 and 1998 Ateliers et Presses de Taize

10 February 2016

A Prayer from the Taize Community for Lent (1)

Is not this the fast that I choose:
   to loose the bonds of injustice,
   to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
   and to break every yoke? 
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
   and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
   and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
   the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard (Isaiah 58:6-8).

God our Father, you want us to become new creatures in Christ. We pray to you.

Lord, you promise us new heavens and a new earth. Renew our hope.

You have freed us from slavery by giving us your only Son; you open for us the way of freedom.

Enable us to listen to your Word and to welcome it with hearts filled with love.

We were dead and you brought us back to life through the Spirit; we were sinners and you continually restore us to purity of heart.

God of peace, you do not want us to know relentless worry but rather a humble repentance of heart. It is like a surge of trusting that enables us to place our faults in you. And then, by the inner light of forgiveness, little by little we discover a peace of heart.

Prayer for Each Day, 1997 and 1998 Ateliers et Presses de Taize

09 February 2016

Lent at Lectio

This past Sunday was the best attended service at Lectio since early September, and the sixth consecutive Sunday when we increased in attendance. Thank you for your support! The season of Lent, a 40 day spiritual journey to grow as disciples of Christ, begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. I wanted to give everyone an idea of the material we will be covering in the Chapel during Lent at 9:00. The Sanctuary services at Custer Road (9:00 and 10:30) will feature the series "Making a Messiah," an intimate exploration of Jesus' passion.

As a reminder, worship at Lectio follows a different pattern and emphasis than many other services. We do not have a choir or special anthems and soloists; we sing hymns at the beginning and end, and there are special piano pieces offered by our very gifted Xiao Wang, a doctoral student in piano at UNT. We read all four lectionary texts each Sunday, and the sermons, which have a strong teaching emphasis, are based on those texts-- often seeking a common theme. The readings and sermons are weighted toward the beginning of the service. Everything else follows the sermon, so they are framed as a response to the message:

  • Confession and Pardon
  • Intercessory Prayer
  • Offering
  • The Lord's Supper
We'd love to see you at Lectio, but if you worship in the Sanctuary or elsewhere you are invited to use these texts on your own throughout Lent as a guide for your path. 

First Sunday of Lent: February 14
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Romans 10:8b-13
Luke 4:1-13

Second Sunday of Lent: February 21
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Psalm 27
Philippians 3:17-4:1
Luke 13:31-35

Third Sunday of Lent: February 28
Isaiah 55:1-9
Psalm 63:1-8
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Luke 13:1-9

Fourth Sunday of Lent: March 5
Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Fifth Sunday of Lent: March 12
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8

Sixth Sunday of Lent: Palm/Passion Sunday March 19
Liturgy of the Palms: Luke 19:28-40, Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Liturgy of the Passion:
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Luke 22:14-23:56

Ask yourself: What is Jesus calling me to do-- or to become? How can my life, and the lives of others, be changed by increasing my commitment to Christ?