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February 27, 2005 – 3rd Sunday in Lent

        Revised Common Lectionary Readings

        Exodus 17:1-7

        Psalm 95

        Romans 5:1-11

        John 4:5-42

The Well Is Deep

*Call to Worship 

God’s deep heart of life

is like a well of infinite love.

It flows towards all creation

in living waters of grace.

Praise be to God.

Christ sits beside our life,

turning all that we offer in faith

into things eternal,

living gifts made new in the Spirit.

Praise be to God.

Let us rejoice in hope.



*Prayer of Invocation        

Be known to us in this place

and wherever we pause

to be near to you, O Christ.

Take us by surprise

if we cannot believe that you would visit us.

Meet us wherever you will so that we may receive

the wonder of your living water

for this day and all that lie ahead.

This we pray in your name. Amen.

*Prayer of Confession       

O God, forgive us if we underestimate your love.

When we confine it to certain people and places,

and when we fail to recognize it

in our own midst,

shock us out of our assumptions and narrow

views of you, we pray.

Silent reflection.

If we cannot imagine your asking us for water

to refresh your life in the world, Jesus Christ,

open our eyes to the places

where you sit and wait.

Silent reflection.

When we reap without sowing

and feel no gratitude

for those who have gone before,

and become discouraged

when we cannot see the harvest,

remind us of your free gifts for our life

and forgive us for our lack of generosity,

O Christ.

For we are your very human people,

and we need your grace. Amen.

*Words of Assurance       

The living water from the life of God

flows with love over all people.

It pours forth when we have not deserved it,

it sprinkles in coolness

over the heat of our anxieties

and calms our troubled hearts.

We are forgiven as a free gift of grace.

Thanks be to God.

*Prayer of Thanksgiving   

We pause in this moment

before your grace, O God,

holding still in gratitude,

keeping silence in awe

as we reflect on the dimensions

of your love for us and for the world.

A silence is kept.

We offer you our thanks

for each moment and each day,

which brings us so many unearned gifts.

We thank you, that your love is larger than ours,

gathering in all sorts of people

and reaching out to those who cannot believe

that they would be included.

Thank you, gracious God,

for all that you give. Amen.

*Stewardship Thought      

The well of God’s love is always deeper than we could ever imagine. It sits in places in which we could never imagine it being – among people who seem far from the concern of God, people we find hard to relate to because they are different, because they seem inferior or hostile to our understanding of God. It waits and connects with us when we seem to have little to offer or feel that we are unworthy with a God who says “Give me a drink” as though we are worthy to serve the holy God. It carries within it gifts of life, which we never expected at times when we were hardly open to life. It sustains us when we seem to have nothing left from which to survive and little before us for our nourishment. It brings us a harvest of life when we have planted nothing or little.

*Offertory Sentence                           

Come, let us give to God

all that we have to offer

for the enlarging of love in the world.

*Offertory Prayer                                

We give so little compared to the bountiful gifts

that you offer to us, O God.

However, we believe in faith, that you will receive

what we bring and use it for good.

Receive our gifts now, we pray. Amen.

*Prayer of Intercession      

Flow the living waters of your creative life

around us, among us, and within us, O God.

Help us to draw from your gift

a faithful commitment to share it with others,

filling up the empty cups around us

with overflowing rivers,

which carry with them the waters of change

toward the world that you planned.

Give us a new vision of a world

in which people trust the kindness of others,

in which leaders are not corrupted by power,

in which violence does not prevail,

nor lies hold the world to ransom

as the poor lie dying and needy before us.

Silent reflection.

Be near to us, Jesus Christ.

Flow your living water over us, O God,

that our hearts and hands may be made clean,

and that our lives may arise in

freshness to inspire all around us with

hope that things can be changed.

Hold close to you these people and situations 

for which we now pray.

The people pray.

Guide them close to the wells of nourishment,

O God,

and the springs that will lift up their lives         

in energy and courage.

These prayers we pray in your name,

O Christ. Amen.


Let us go to walk the way of faith

and discover the Christ waiting for us

with the water of life.


May the wells of God’s life

be found beside the road,

Christ Jesus meet us in unexpected places,

and the Spirit be with us

on every hill and in every valley. Amen.

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