We come to this place because we want to know God, who helps us set aside the past, to walk the path to new life. We come in these moments because we want to know Jesus, who anoints us with the resurrection, who shares our lives with us. We come with these people because we want to know the Spirit, who shapes us for life with God, so we may praise God forever!
Prayer of Confession
Merciful God, you sent Jesus among us to be our way, our truth and our life. We confess our reluctance to always follow where he leads. It’s easy to seek our own way and to believe our own truths. Too often we can pursue a life of comfort and ease, instead of a life of sacrifice and service. Forgive us, we pray. Pull us out of ourselves. Enable us to live as those who in following your Son, also obtain a life filled with purpose and joy. Help us to stand under your mercy and open to your grace. In Christ we pray. Amen
Psalter Lesson: Psalm 27 NRSV
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh— my adversaries and foes— they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will set me high on a rock. Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me! “Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!” Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me. Do not turn your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Do not cast me off, do not forsake me, O God of my salvation! If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up. Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me, and they are breathing out violence. I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Gospel Lesson: Mark 1: 9-15 NRSV
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
- No. 483 – Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above
- No. 282 – If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee
- No. 274 – O God of Earth and Space
“The Wilderness—also a Time of Comfort” – Rev. Scott G. Loomer
The Sacrament of Holy Communion