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BOTH AND: Fast and Feed

Items you may want to gather before worship:
  • pens, pencils, crayons, or markers
  • paper (scratch paper is fine)
  • large bowl
  • pitcher of water
  • computer, tablet, or other way to play video and follow reading links/prompts
  • candle and lighter
  • an empty cup for each person
  • offering, envelope, stamp
 Entrance
Light a candle in the center of your gathering space as you bring the Light of Christ into your time of worship.   
Leader: When we hunger
People: We cry to the Lord, “Help us, O Lord.”
L: When we thirst
P: We cry to the Lord, “Help us, O Lord.”
L: God who created the heavens and the earth hears our cries.
P: Lord, come and quench our thirst and heal our hunger.
All: AMEN.       
 
Take Time to Be Holy 
Lyrics are on screen. Please sing along!   
 
Opening Prayer: Wellspring of eternal life, we come to you this day having drunk deeply the waters of anxiety and despair. Bring to us your living water. Quench our thirsting souls, for we offer this prayer in Your Name. AMEN.
 
Proclamation
Children’s Moment: If you have younger children present, consider using THIS RESOURCE.
 
John 4:5-42Consider reading the passage as a “script” and have different people read the words of the woman, the words of Jesus, and the in between words of the “narrator.”
The Word of God for the people of God.
Thanks be to God.
 
Watch this video or have someone read this reflection.
 
Discussion Questions
  • During the season of Lent, many of us try to focus on the way we participate in the Means of Grace. The means of grace are ways that we might try to know or understand God’s grace more. A popular practice during Lent is to fast from something, to “give something up” as a small sacrifice. Did you give something up for Lent? Why? Why not? What are you hoping to experience during your fast?
  • What area of your life feels empty or dry or lost right now? How are you like the woman at the well?
  • The woman at the well came at a time when she wouldn’t encounter people. She used space and words in a way that kept her physically and emotionally separate from others. What do you do to keep yourself physically and emotionally apart from people? What do you do that keeps you from meaningful relationships with others?
  • Jesus saw the woman, knew the truth of the matter, and spoke to her heart. What do you wish you could hear Jesus say to you?
  • Jesus offers relationship for our lonely and weary souls. Where do you see that need in yourself? Are you willing to receive the gift of relationship that Jesus offers you?
  • The woman at the well responded to Jesus’s gift of grace by going and telling others about what she experienced. Works of Mercy are ways that we might respond to God’s grace. Physically feeding others (meeting a need of hunger or thirst) is one example. How does serving and sharing a meal with others echo what we see at work in this biblical story?
  • How might fasting (personal holiness) and feeding others (social holiness) help us encounter Jesus?
  • How will you tell others about your encounter with Jesus?
 
Fill My Cup LordWhile listening, consider sitting still, with your eyes closed, holding and empty cup, or holding your hands in your lap, palms up, waiting to receive a gift.
 
Response
Confession: God of living waters, we confess that we have often turned from you and wandered in our own wildernesses of fear and doubt. Our thirst mounts daily, seeking to be quenched by your redeeming love. Yet, when that love is offered to us, we again turn away, unable to truly believe that you would actually heal and love us. We have behaved in very unloving ways. We have chosen to ignore those in need or to deal only passively with them. Our hearts are not placed in service to others, but rather in self-serving motives. Heal us, merciful God. Wash us again in the living water. Help us be faithful servants.
 
Spend some time in quiet, personal confession. Use paper and pens/markers/crayons to write or draw confessions. Then tear the paper up into the smallest pieces possible. Place the shreds in a large bowl. As one person says the following words, pour water over the shreds of paper.
 
Leader: The waters of mercy and healing are poured over us. God is loving and faithful to those who come to God. We seek God’s loving presence and are healed by forgiveness.
 
Prayers of the People: Please share the names of the people, situations, and places for which we ask God’s grace to be known. After all share prayer needs, the leader may prayer this or another prayer:
           
Lord of living water, pour your mercy on us. Wash us clean and make us true disciples. Help us move from the paths of selfishness and stubbornness, to the channels of hope and peace. Enable us to place our whole trust in your love. As we have brought the names of those near and dear to us to your throne of grace in prayer, remind us again that you also hold us dearly and offer to us your healing grace. Keep us strong and give us courage to serve you in all that we do. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. AMEN.            
 
Offering: Consider mailing your offering to the church. Additionally, as a family, think of a way you might offer your time to someone this week (make a meal for someone, call and “visit” someone over the phone, offer to run errands for someone who may be staying in).          
  
Sending Forth
Lord, Who Throughout These Forty DaysLyrics are on screen. Please sing along!   
 
Leader: Drink deeply of the waters of Salvation and quench your thirst for truth, for the Lord is with us. Live in God’s peace and bring the good news to all whom you meet.
All: AMEN.         
Blow out your candle and be the Light of Christ in the world!
 
Today’s prayer elements are from Worship Matters.
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