• Church on the Hill UCC

Christ Would Make Monsters of Us All

Updated: Mar 30


Here are the Call to Worship, Prayer of Invocation & Confession, Words of Assurance, and an attached PDF featuring the scripture readings and sermon. You'll find an an audio recitation of these, which you can use liturgically, by clicking here.


As for hymns, here are what we would have sung if we were meeting in person: Out of the Depths I Cried, When Jesus Wept. and In the Cross of Christ I Glory.


Artist unknown; "Lazarus, The New Man"

Call to Worship Psalm 130 Adapted

One: Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

All: Lord, hear my voice!

One: Let your ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications!

All: If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

One: But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.

All: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits; and in his word we hope.

One: My soul waits for the Lord –

All: more than those who watch for the morning,

One: more than those who watch for the morning.

All: O people, hope in the Lord!

One: For with the Lord there is steadfast love,

and with him is great power to redeem.

All: It is he who will redeem us from all iniquities.

One: It is He in whom there is peace, as we proclaim in greeting one another, “The peace of God be with you.”

All: And also with you.

Prayer of Confession (in unison)

Living God, as we move through Lent, we recognize that we are moving ever closer to the cross—the curse of the world, which you transform into blessing, the threat of death that you transform into the promise of new and abundant life. The crisis of the cross is, by your amazing grace, a making way for surprising blessing. Help us never, in crisis, to miss what opportunity it also amounts to.

We pray all this that we might have the courage to move with you through the paradox of faith and the contradictions of history. We pray also that, by the strength of our faith, we might endure even amidst what can feel like a valley of the shadow of death, a feeling never more felt for most than now. As we consider the stories filling the news, of sickness and death, of those risking it all to counteract the rising tide of calamity, we find ourselves where Ezekiel was poised, gazing across a killing field wondering whether life might ever again abound.


Valley of Dry Bones, 245 CE, Wall painting

Help us to join with him in his witness that “Yes.” Help us to join him in his eyes being opened to the possibility of resurrection. Open our eyes; expand our seeing, that we might glimpse even beyond the horizon that is death, a new vision by which we might now live, even on this near side of that horizon.

Forgive us our fear and our striving after our own survival. Forgive us when we put ourselves ahead of everyone else, and when



we succumb to zero-sum thinking in which the well-being of some amounts to the falling behind of others.

All this we recount now, and repent of, in silence.

Silence.

Gracious God, rising and risen Lord, walk with us, and ahead of us. Assure us of what bright future might await and help us to find the way. Amen.


Words of Assurance

When the Lord asks us amidst this suffering world and the wrecks of time, “O Mortal, can these bones live?” our answer can be a resounding, “Yes.” In this is our conviction and our commissioning. Thanks be to God.


Audio version.

Text of scripture & sermon.


"Alexamenos Grafitto" 200 AD.

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Church on the Hill is a congregation of the United Church of Christ. We worship God, rely on Christ, rejoice in the Spirit, serve in hope, and welcome any and all to our common life. Sing, pray, commune, give thanks.  Come and see.

413-637-1001

welcome@lenoxucc.org

Office hours: Mon-Thurs, 9am-1pm

Offices & Chapel: 55 Main Street

Meetinghouse: 169 Main Street

Lenox, MA 01240

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