Sunday, March 6, 2016

For March 13 2016 -- Lent 5, Mark's Apocalypse

OPENING PRAYER
The End is Near!
The end of winter, the end of the road to Jerusalem, the end of the age.
The Beginning is Near!
The start of spring, the start of New Life, the start of the Age of the Kingdom.
God as the end draws nigh, we gather for worship.
Help us see the possibilities in the endings, even as we tend to fear endings.
And then send us out,
looking past the endings to live into the possibilities of new beginnings. Amen.

PRAYER OF ENDS AND BEGINNINGS
God we hear the words “The End is Near”
and we shrug it off, imagining a street corner preacher.
But then we stop to wonder if the words are right.
And a shudder of fear slips through us, as we think about what would be lost.
God of life, Jesus reminds us:
unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
God of grace, in song we are reminded”
in our end is our beginning...in our life eternity, in our death a resurrection...”
God who calls us to embrace the new age, the age of the Kingdom,
help us remember that in death comes life, that for something new to start something old must end.
And so when we hear the words “the end is near”
Help us respond with hope, looking for the new thing that is coming after the end. Amen.
(quotes John 12:24 and lines from In the Bulb There is a Flower)

COMMISSIONING:
We have gathered, we have prayed, we have sung, we have listened.
Now we go out to continue our work in and for the Kingdom.
Another thing, our time of worship, has come to an end.
Time for something else, a new week, to begin.
And so as those who have been fed in body and soul,
we go out into the world to spread hope and love in the face of fear and despair.
And we go to do that secure in the knowledge that God, the source of our hope and love,
is with us in the beginnings, the middles and the ends of life. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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