Today’s Passage: John 12:1-8
Opening Prayer: There is drama wherever people gather. There are differences of opinion wherever people gather. There is affliction wherever people gather. So, how do we get along? How do we work together? How do we make this a better place to live, for us and for others… both spiritually and physically? Maybe we need to look at the needs of others and move forward to address some of those things? Maybe if we focus on the positive things, the negative things will become more manageable or more bearable? Father God, thank you for the rich diversity that we find in all aspects of Your creation. Help us to not only tolerate the diversity, but to embrace and relish it! May we see that this diversity, when brought together and united in righteousness, becomes a powerful force for You to use in the building of Your Kingdom. Left alone we become divided and a less than effective tool in Your hands. May we be molded into something useful to You and Your kingdom. May we be united in service to Your purpose – that all might ultimately be saved. In Christ, I pray. Amen.
Opening Song: Micah Tyler – Different (Official Music Video)
Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: “This Is Us” – The Fifth Sunday in Lent by Rachel May, Pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia.
“There was a place called Bethany…the house of the afflicted,” begins Rachel May, pastor of Boulevard United Methodist Church in Richmond, Virginia. In John 12:1-8, Jesus is at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. May continues, “The good news is embedded in the setting.” It can sometimes be hard to find or pick out. This passage takes us to the beginning of Holy Week. “We find Jesus in a household where there is devotion and dissent, Sabbath rest and ministry imagining, active service and relaxed fellowship, a celebration of life and preparations for the grave. All of this, in one house.” This is where we find ourselves as the people of God, approaching the beginning of Holy Week. The closer we come to this story the more we see: This is us.
Closing Song: Zach Williams – Chain Breaker (Official Lyric Video)
Closing Prayer: Let us each find a way to testify to the power, strength, and love of our Savior. He is the only way… the only way out of the messes we have created, the brokenness we feel, to peace and joy here and now, and to eternal life. Why would you choose any other? Father God, may we see our way clear of all that keeps us from finding You; from growing in You. May we draw close to Jesus. May we be comforted by the one who knows and sees our pain and brokenness. We are more than conquerors through Christ; we are heirs to the Kingdom… alongside brothers and sisters who are In Christ. May these things all be true, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Epilogue: Through It All – Hillsong Worship