Hilary Plowright
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Hybrid Worship, March 3, 2024, Lent III

The Gift of Being Thunderstruck

Rev. Suzanna Bates

Music Director: Dorothy Dittrich

We acknowledge these lands upon which we worship are the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey,

you are welcome here!

Words For Worship

Words in bold italics, please say together



Hymn: Morning Has Broken                                                      VU #409

Acknowledgement of the Land

Threshold to the Dark Woods  (soloist/choir sings— people sing the echo) 

There’s a path

there’s a path

though it winds its way through darkness 

We would choose 

we would choose

to avoid it if we could 

We awake

we awake

to an unexpected calling 

God says, “come

God says, “come

there are gifts in the Dark Wood” 


Lighting the Candles

God’s unexpected light and love enters our lives and opens us to the gifts residing deep within the Holy Shadows of our lives. 

God walk with us, speak to us, calls to us.

We are here.

God is here.

This place is sacred ground.

Opening Prayer

Hymn: How Great Thou Art                                                       VU #238

Litany of Confession and Forgiveness

For being too busy to be wonder-struck by your works,

Forgive and restore us, O God.

For filling the holes in our spirit with things that cannot truly feed us,

Forgive and restore us, O God.

For denying the world our best selves,

Forgive and restore us, O God.                                                     

Silent prayers…

Hear these words of assurance:

God is already making a wonder of you.

You are a part of this awesome creation.

God is with you, forgiving and restoring you to wholeheartedness.

Through the grace of Jesus Christ, who poured out his love, 

so you might live.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

Scripture: Exodus 20:1–17 (NRSV)               Reader: Nancy Hetherington Peirce

(The Ten Commandments)

Then God spoke all these words, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses God’s name. “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the  Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female slave, ox, donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

This is the Word of God.

Thanks be to God for this word today. 

Gospel Reading:                                                        Reader: Betty Schultze

As is your custom, please stand or sit for the reading of the gospel. 

God be with you. 

And also with you 

The Good News of Jesus the Christ according to John

Glory to you, Christ Jesus.                                                           

John 2:13–22 (The Message)   

(Jesus Clears the Temple)

When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.” But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.

This is the Gospel of Christ.

We give thanks for Good News today!

Word: “The Gift of Being Thunderstruck”

Hymn: God Of The Sparrow       VU #229

A Time For Reflection

Song of Reflection: Stay With Us                                             VU #950

A New Creed

We are not alone,

we live in God’s world.

We believe in God: 

who has created and is creating,

who has come in Jesus, 

the Word made flesh,

to reconcile and make new,

who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the church: 

to celebrate God’s presence,

to live with respect in Creation, 

to love and serve others,

to seek justice and resist evil,

to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, 

our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,

God is with us. We are not alone.

Thanks be to God.

Life and Work of the Church


Offertory Response: Take, O Take Me As I Am (x2)                 MV #85

Take, O take me as I am.

Summon out what I shall be.

Set your seal upon my heart and live in me. 

Prayers of the People                                                              Tim Leadem

We pray to God,

            Hear our Prayers.

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision                                                        VU #642


The peace of Christ be with you always. 

And also with you. 

May the Spirit of the Living God, 

Made known to us most fully within life’s Dark Wood: 

Go before you 

to show you the way; 

Go above you 

to watch over you; 

Go behind you 

to push you into places you may not 

necessarily go yourself; 

Go beneath you 

to uphold and uplift you; 

Go beside you 

to be your strong and constant companion; 

And dwell within you to remind you that you are surely not alone, 

And may the fire of God’s blessing burn brightly Upon you, and within you, Now and always. 


Benediction Song

There’s a path

there’s a path

and it leads us out together 

To the wood 

to the wood

where the darkness hovers still 

We are sent 

we are sent

and the Spirit goes before us

God says, “go 
            God says, go

be my presence in the world.”