Silence and Centering – Pause for 5 minutes of Silence
“Be still, and know that I am God; – Psalm 46:1
Lord Jesus, we thank You for emptying out Your life for our sins, just as our Father planned. Without Your death and resurrection, we would have no rescue from the evil of this world. But we confess to You, Lord, our human tendency to turn back to old patterns of thinking and doing as we try to take back control of our lives. Have mercy on our foolishness, and forgive us completely for resisting the grace of Your gospel. Align our thinking again with the truth of Your Word, so that we might walk once again in true freedom. We ask this humbly in Christ’s name. Amen.
FIRST READING: Genesis 3:8-15
3:8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
3:9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
3:10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
3:11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
3:12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.”
3:13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
3:14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.
3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
SECOND READING: Mark 3:20-35
3:20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.
3:21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.”
3:22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”
3:23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan?
3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
3:25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
3:26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come.
3:27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
3:28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter;
3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”–
3:30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
3:31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him.
3:32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.”
3:33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
3:34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
3:35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
In peace, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
In thanksgiving for the promised Offspring, Jesus Christ, who by His death has crushed Satan’s head forever, that as God promised deliverance from sin and its curse to Adam and Eve and received their meager confessions for the sake of His grace, so He would show us the comfort of sins forgiven and lead us in constant hope of His new creation, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For courage, that as we believe, so we also would speak of the confidence of Christ’s resurrection; that we would be emboldened to confess this Christian faith from a lively conscience; and that, for Christ’s sake, grace may extend to more and more people for the glory of God, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who feel the sword of division brought about by the confession of Christ’s truth, especially within their own families, that, seeing as Christ also was rejected on earth by friends and relatives, they would be assured that their stand is necessary, be guarded from seeking a false or easier peace, and be turned in every earthly disappointment toward God’s eternal and undivided Church Triumphant, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For our nation with its government, that as no kingdom or house divided can ever stand, God would frustrate the destructive work of Satan, unite our leaders and our people for the common good, and lead us to place our true hope in His eternal kingdom, which is not of this world, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who suffer in this earthly tent, that fixing their eyes beyond the transient to things unseen, they would not lose heart; and that God, in His eternal wisdom, would prepare them through this slight momentary affliction for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, when at last we are raised with Christ and brought into His presence, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
For all who commune, that as Satan once overcame our first parents through the eating of the tree’s fruit, so Christ would overcome the devil among us here by the fruit of His cross, His body and blood given and shed for us for the forgiveness of sins, let us pray to the Lord: Lord, have mercy.
What was lost in Paradise has been regained by the conquering wounds of Your Son, crucified and raised again. In Him, we are restored as Your children and made bold to ask for every need. Hear us for His sake and in His name, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Conclude with 3 Minutes of Silence
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.