God of strength and mercy, by the suffering of your Son you made the cross to be for us the means of life.
Grant that we may walk the way of the cross, and find it the way of our life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(New Revised Standard Version)
In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
from the grasp of the unjust and cruel. For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth. Upon you I have leaned from my birth; it was you who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
I have been like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise,
and with your glory all day long. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me, and those who watch for my life consult together. They say, “Pursue and seize that person whom God has forsaken, for there is no one to deliver.” O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
Let us glory in the cross of Jesus Christ.
Through him we have salvation, life, and resurrection.
Cross of Christ, tree of hope.
For us he became obedient even to death on a cross;
because of this God exalted him above every name.
Cross of Christ, tree of hope.
Gospel: John 12:20-36
(Common English Bible)
Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.
“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”
Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours. Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” ( He said this to show how he was going to die.)
The crowd responded, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Human One must be lifted up? Who is this Human One?”
Jesus replied, “The light is with you for only a little while. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness don’t know where they are going. As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light.” After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them.
(silently or share in a group):
What does it mean to you that Jesus is the light? How do you understand yourself to be a child of the light?
Prayers for Others based on the Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Hear our prayers of praise and adoration....
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Hear our prayers for our country, our town, our neighborhood....
Give us today our daily bread.
Hear our prayers for those who are out of work....
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Hear our prayers for reconciliation with family members....
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
Hear our prayers for those who suffer because of the spread of the Covid-19 virus....
For the kingdom, the power and the
glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
Sing “This Little Light of Mine”
(The United Methodist Hymnal #585)
To hear the song, use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2kDsqGeoLU; https://hymnary.org/text/this_little_light_of_mine_im_gonna_let
This little light of mine, I’m goin’-a let it shine,
this little light of mine, I’m goin’-a let it shine;
this little light of mine, I’m goin’-a let it shine,
let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Everywhere I go, I’m goin’-a let it shine . . .
All through the night, I’m goin’-a let it shine . . .
(Improvise other verses!)
The Responsory is adapted from Hoyt L. Hickman, et. al., The Handbook of the Christian Year (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1986), p. 156.