March 29, 2020

He left an example for you

Adapted from:

Volume 2: Take our moments and our days for advent through pentecost – An Anabaptist prayer book

Opening sentence

He left an example for you,

that you should follow in his steps.

Call to praise

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?

Glory …

Glory to the Father,

and to the Son,

and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning,

is now,

and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 130

A song of ascents.

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

2 Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

    to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

    Lord, who could stand?

4 But with you there is forgiveness,

    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

    and in his word I put my hope.

6 I wait for the Lord

    more than watchmen wait for the morning,

    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

    for with the Lord is unfailing love

    and with him is full redemption.

8 He himself will redeem Israel

    from all their sins.


Our souls are waiting for God, our help and our shield.

Our hearts are glad in you, Lord, because we trust in your holy name.

(free prayers of thanksgiving)

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

even as we wait for you. Amen.


Call to discipleship


One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Let us worship the Lord our God, and serve God alone.


John 11:1-44

The Death of Lazarus

11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”


Reflection on Readings

  • What stands out?
  • What do these passages say about God?
  • What do these passages say about us?


Quote from A Long Obedience In The Same Direction by Eugene Peterson 

Psalm 130 is essential equipment, for it convinces us that the big difference is not in what people suffer but in the way they suffer. This psalm is a powerful demonstration that our place in the depths is not out of bounds from God. This Psalm shows us that our hope comes not from our holiness, our performance, or our abilities, but is grounded in God’s steadfast love, in His plentiful redemption, in His sanctifying work. Cry out from your depths. Cry out to the LORD who hears. Cry out knowing He hears not because your sinless but because He forgives. Cry out and wait for His redemption not for worldly council. Cry out and wait in hope “For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”


1 Peter 2.21-24

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.


“He committed no sin,

    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”[e]

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”


Call to Intercession 

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage.

Hear, O Lord, when we cry aloud, be gracious to us and answer us!

Attentive God, we bring our prayers to you because we trust you to protect and provide.

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

You receive us because of your great mercies. We pray for ourselves and those dear to us.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

You rebuke all retaliation. We pray for our community and for our neighbors.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

Your people bear your name. We pray for the church in all places, that we may know the freedom of life in the Spirit.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

Your face will shine even on earth’s desolation. We pray for the world and for all who care for creation.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

We offer you other concerns we carry in our hearts.

(open prayers)

In your mercy,

Lord, hear our prayer.

God our only hope, you seat us at the table with our enemies, breathing in our fears.

Feed us from your mouth, that our bread may be to do your will, in the strength of your Anointed, who taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be 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. Amen.


Lent Focus – Written by Amy Klassen

Isaiah 58:6-7

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:

to loose the chains of injustice

    and untie the cords of the yoke,

to set the oppressed free

    and break every yoke?

Is it not to share your food with the hungry

    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—

when you see the naked, to clothe them,


Matthew 25:37-40

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’


40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’


This week our Lent focus is to seeking justice for the oppressed. Oppression is an action of cruel or unjust impositions or restraints put on someone. It includes being heavily burdened and forced into adverse conditions. 

During COVID-19, we are experiencing a cruel disease and we are so much more aware of restraints and restrictions put on us. Although this disease is not being imposed on us by some cruel human power, our behaviour in regard to spreading it is constantly being questioned by others. We are all vulnerable to some level of worry and stress as we live in social isolation and think of the future.

Let’s use this experience to motivate us to think about those who are suffering oppression around us. We can’t forget that we live in a world and in a society where others are being treated cruelly and unjustly. We live in a country where First Nations have been mistreated and oppressed. How will we personally respond to that injustice?

Whether it’s advocating for First Nations, speaking out against racism in the workplace, or stepping in to help a family member who is being treated unfairly, let’s allow this current crisis to nurture compassion in us and specifically to help us reach out to those that are experiencing a deeper form of oppression at the hands of others? 

During this time, take a moment to ask God to search your heart and increase your compassion for the oppressed. What can you do to cause this compassion to grow? How can you help set people free? Maybe you can use the power of your words to speak life and encouragement over the First Nations Community. Reach out to someone you know from that community and ask how you can pray for them. Or get creative and write a note/letter or find another way to speak empowering words of freedom over a people that have experienced so much harsh oppression. God will give you an opportunity if you pray for one.

Let’s continue to be in community even if we can not shake each other’s hands.

What good things in our lives can we give up in order to make space for the things on God’s heart?


  • Give up Google search 
  • Limit your reading to only non-fiction



The Lord will keep us from all evil.

The Lord will keep our life.

The Lord will keep our going out

and our coming in

from this time on and forevermore.



By |2020-03-27T20:11:48+00:00March 27th, 2020|Liturgy|0 Comments