Lent 2000: Pay Attention!
A Christian Community
In the Tradition of the Church of the Saviour
There were rockets like a flight of scintillating birds singing with sweet voices. There were green trees with trunks of dark smoke: their leaves opened like a whole spring unfolding in a moment, and their shining branches dropped glowing flowers down upon the astonished hobbits, disappearing with a sweet scent just before they touched their upturned faces. There were fountains of butterflies that flew glittering into the trees; there were pillars of coloured fires that rose and turned into eagles, or sailing ships, or a phalanx of flying swans; there was a red thunderstorm and a shower of yellow rain….And there was also one last surprise…the lights went out. A great smoke went up. It shaped itself like a mountain seen in the distance, and began to glow at the summit. It spouted green and scarlet flames. Out flew a red-golden dragon–not life-size, but terribly life-like: fire came from his jaws, his eyes glared down; there was a roar, and he whizzed three times over the heads of the crowd. They all ducked and many fell flat on their faces.
From The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
Call to Worship
Leader: Ring the bells!
Gather to worship in this church!
God beckons to us.
Community: We are God's sheep and we will listen,
Not as many animals, but as one flock.
We will pay attention to God's call.
All: Guide us to contribute our help,
love, and concentration to your worship
and to helping your people
throughout this day, this week,
this month, and forever
all around the world.
Word for the Children
Leader: We are all God's people.
God open the gates for us
so that we may give thanks.
Community: No longer shall we say to one another,
"Know the Lord," for everyone,
from the least to the greatest,
shall know the spirit.
Unison: We meet the Creator through each day.
The sun always shines
from its tent in the heavens.
Birds chirp and breezes blow.
All over the world, people see God's glory.
Leader: God, we do not always open
our eyes to your love.
Community: We confess that when we hear a bird singing
or the wind whistling,
we do not hear your love behind it.
We do not even hear
our own hearts singing with you.
We confess that we do not always
let you into our lives.
Individual Prayers of Confession
Leader: God's forgiveness comes every day,
as does the sun, bright and sure.
God's forgiveness comes every night,
as does the moon, light and whole.
We are loved and in turn learn to love.
Prayers of the Community
Leader: May we leave this place with
new attention to the world around us.
Help us to see the miracles of everyday life. Amen.