Lord Christ, as we gather in prayer today and throughout this week,
we pray for your church scattered throughout the whole world.
This week we remember before you specially the churches and peoples of Belgium, Luxembourg, and The Netherlands.
As your church planted in these lands, we pray that, confronting prosperity and luxury, they may continue to tell the story of the One who became poor for our sake.
May the churches elsewhere, facing wretched poverty, continually proclaim the Kingdom of your goodness.
By so doing, we give thanks that we have something to say to one another, and that together we will continue to be challenged by the claims of your Word.
(Pilgrim Prayer, adapted, 42)
♪ De dag gaat open voor het woord des Heren
(‘The day opens to/for the Word of the Lord' - lyrics from the Belgium nun Oda Swagemakers)
Responsive Psalm 22: 23 – 31
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
saying that he has done it.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
(Pilgrim Prayer, 30)
Scripture Reading: Mark 8: 31 – 38
31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36 For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37 Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38 Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Reflection (Peter Nissen)
♪ Waarom moest ik uw stem verstaan
(‘Why did I have to hear your voice?’ - lyrics from the Dutch poet Ad den Besten)
Prayers of Intercession
With the words that Jesus taught us, let us now pray together:
May the Christ who walks on wounded feet
walk with us on this Lenten journey.
May the Christ who serves with nail-pierced hands
stretch our hands to serve.
May the Christ who loves with a wounded heart
open our hearts to love.
May you see the face of Christ in everyone you meet,
and may everyone you meet
see the face of Christ in you.
(A Celtic Prayer, adapted)
Rev. Peter Nissen (Remonstrant Brotherhood)
Rev. Gert Landman (Referent for Liturgy, Council of Churches)
Mr. Geert van Dartel (Chair of the Council)
Rev. Christien Crouwel (General Secretary of the Council)