Backyard Liturgy, March 14, 2021

March 13th, 2021 | April Karli

Call to Worship

Welcome to a Backyard Liturgy of Austin Mustard Seed. The word liturgy means the work of the people. 

The season of Lent is a time that is set aside to embrace our mortality, shortcomings and brokenness. Today we come, as participants and hosts, whether passionate believer or hopeful skeptic, to share our hope that death ends in resurrection. If you are new to our liturgy, we welcome you to be a full participant or a thoughtful observer. Let us spend a moment together in silence.

Friends of God, believe this –
God loved the world,
God loves the world,
We are the beloved!
May the truth of this great love story,
shine through our worship today,
and renew our sense of calling.

So come, with your tiredness,
your frustrations and your discouragements;
come with your doubts, your fears, and your longings;
come, to discover yet again
how Jesus reveals God’s love and mercy.

Come, in friendship to God
and to each other,
and in friendship to the world,
to listen for God’s Word to us,
to offer our prayers,
and to renew our calling.
Friends of God,
let us worship!

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, those he redeemed from trouble. And gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;  he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

Prayer of Confession

Lent is a reminder to pull into perspective our short life that from dust we came and to dust we shall return. So let’s acknowledge together that we are only human and cry out to God, by whom we are beloved.Our response will highlighted in bold:

God, we confess that we are an impatient and selfish people.
When you offer us the promise of a new future,
we complain that you don’t get there fast enough.
When you provide for our needs,
we complain that it isn’t enough.
And when our bad attitudes and negative outlooks cause us to stumble,
we blame you. 

Holy God, forgive our sinful ways.
Teach us to be patient.
Instruct us to be grateful.
Guide us to be responsible and humble.
As we turn ourselves around and look to the cross,
let us experience your grace and your gift of new life.
In the name of Christ our Savior, we pray.  Amen

The Lord our God says:
”I will seek the lost. I will bring back the strayed.
I will bind up the injured and I will strengthen the weak.”
Indeed the Lord is good.
God’s love and mercy are forever.

Sisters and Brothers,
your sins are forgiven;
be at peace.

Scripture Reading

John 3:14-21

And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. :Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.

Prayers of the People

We now invite you into a time of prayer. This is an opportunity for us to support one another and participate by sharing our prayer requests. 

If you have something you’re thankful for, end your prayer with…
Let us bless the Lord” 

If you have something you’d like prayer for, end your prayer with…
Let us pray to the Lord”  

(Then start off with a brief prayer of your own as an example out loud.)

“With the prayers that have been spoken, and those that are unspoken, let us finish by praying the Lord’s prayer together…”

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.


(We now come to the center of our Liturgy, the Eucharist. So please examine your hearts and pray this prayer with me.  Our responses will be highlighted in bold.)

Is God with us?
God is.
Is Christ among us?
Christ is.
Is the Spirit here?
The Spirit is.
We are God’s people.
We are redeemed.

It is right and our delight to give you thanks and praise, living God, supreme over the world, Creator, Provider, Savior and Giver. From a wandering nomad you created your family; for a burdened people you raised up a leader; for a confused nation you chose a king; for a rebellious crowd you sent your prophets. In these last days you have sent us your Son, your perfect image, bringing your kingdom, revealing your will, dying, rising, reigning, and remaking your people for yourself. Through him you have poured out your Holy Spirit, filling us with light and life. 

You made a covenant with our ancestor Abraham, promising to make of him a great nation, and a blessing to all the families of the earth. By faith, make us children of Abraham, justified by the righteousness and grace of Christ, so that we may share the blessings of your covenant people.

On the same night that he was betrayed he took bread and gave you thanks; he broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”
Amen. His body was broken for us.

In the same way, after supper he took the cup and gave thanks; he gave it to them, saying, “Drink this, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
We are family through his blood.
We have died together, we will rise together, we will live together. 

Now come together to the table, passionate believers and hopeful skeptics alike.  Come because the Lord invites us to this remembrance of Jesus’ death, broken sinners in a disrupted world made right through the cross. Come as a people who expect that the Spirit who raised Jesus from that death is bringing new life.

Come and proclaim together that God’s work is not done. 

After Eucharist

Let us finish our time of communion together by reading aloud this prayer. 

Almighty and eternal God,
we have sat at your feet,
learned from your word,
and eaten from your table.
We give you thanks and praise for accepting us into your family.
Send us out with your blessing,
to live and to witness for you in the power of your Spirit,
through Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead. 

***(The first three responses are to be accompanied with a sweep of the arm towards the cross on the screen, and the final response with a sweep towards heaven.)***

All our problems
We send to the cross of Christ.

All our difficulties
We send to the cross of Christ.
All the devil’s works
We send to the cross of Christ.
All our hopes
We set on the risen Christ. Amen


Austin Mustard Seed, as we leave today, Let’s go encouraging one another to carry on in this somber season:  

Go forth with a steady step
As you face the days ahead. 

Live, certain that in many ways,
God provides faith for darkened hours,
Courage in despairing nights,
And calm in depressing circumstances. 

Revel in your joys.
Recall your blessings,
and Walk in the Light.

Love your neighbors
and put others before yourself.
So that you may also love your Savior,
and participate in the communal work of renewal
For in our communal work,
our brokenness, pain and humanity is brought into healing
Because in the suffering of our darkness
we find our Savior, who hung on a cross.

We pray these things by:
the humble power of God,
the quiet strength of Christ,
and the pervasive light of the Spirit,

Go in Peace,
Live the Church,
See you throughout the week.
Remember that we will gather for liturgy next Sunday on YouTube. 

As we close we will take a few moments to share the Passing of the Peace with one another:

The Peace of the Lord be always with you!