Today we will hear the story of Jesus overturning the tables at the Temple from John 2:13-22. Jesus enters the temple and shuts down the institution because it became corrupt. Those who ran the temple used God to justify their power and wealth at the expense of the vulnerable and marginalized. Jesus does more than cleanses the temple. He shuts it down. The journey of Lent reminds us that the world is not as it should be. But it doesn’t stop there. It reminds us that we work with God and with one another to foster a more loving, peaceful, and just world.
Adam: God be with you.
All: And also with you.
Welcome and Announcements – Adam Ericksen
Lighting of the Peace Candle – Amira Stanley and Adam
Adam: Our tradition at CUCC is to light a peace candle at the beginning of each worship service to center ourselves around the Peace of God. Amira will lead us in the liturgy as Gavin lights the candle…
Amira: I invite you to join us in lighting the peace candle…
All: We pray for peace in our hearts,
in our homes, in our communities,
in our nations, and in our worlds.
*Call to Worship – Amira
Amira: Please join us in the call to worship…
Amira: Truth be told, there are many tables that need overturning in our lives…
All: The tables of self-hate, judgment, and criticism.
Adam: The tables of white supremacy, sexism, economic oppression, and Christian nationalism.
All: Like Jesus, may we overturn the tables as we passionately work for a more loving and just world. Amen.
Children’s Moment – Adam
*Passing of the Peace – Amira
Friends, I invite you to join me in the passing of the peace…Close your eyes…breathe…breathe again. Put your hands on your heart. In your mind’s eye, imagine the light that is in all of us. Some might call it the Soul or Conscience or Essence or maybe you call it God. Take a piece of that light and hold it close. Now hold out your hands, imagine the light, your light, traveling from your fingers out across the world, like a sun ray. As the rays travel, accept the light that is offered to you, as you offer light, as the light returns to you… Breathe. Breathe again. Hold the light close. May the Peace of Christ be with you…
Amira: Beloved of God, may the peace of Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
Song: When Jesus Wept – Rhonda, Dave, and Jeff
Invitation to the Offering Adam Ericksen
Prayers of the People – Adam
(After each prayer, Adam will say, “God in your love” and you are invited to respond with “hear our prayers.”)
Community Prayer and Lord’s Prayer – Amira
Our God, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Sermon – Jesus Gets Confrontational with Institutional Injustice
Communion – Amira and Adam
*Unison Benediction – Judy Boncaro
May God bless you and keep you.
May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
May God look upon you with kindness and bring you peace.
This day and forever more. Amen