Feb 23

1st Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Genesis 9:8-17

  • This is (hopefully) familiar text, in which God makes a covenant with creation.  This particular covenant is “sealed” with the sign of the rainbow.
  • We may not always be able to see a rainbow, but God always does.  Think about it.  It doesn’t matter the size of the storm – God is always in a position to see a rainbow.  God never forgets this covenant!
  • Yes… I am fully aware that the primary liturgical color for the season of Lent is purple.  However… I see no reason why any/every color of the rainbow can’t be used in worship —especially on this particular Sunday!  Use multi-colored fabric — or a multitude of different fabrics — to represent the promise of the covenant in your worship display.
  • Stores that provide home-schooling materials may have prisms or crystals that can be used to “create” rainbows.  These could be used to decorate (with lights and prisms casting rainbows all around the worship space), or they could be provided as a take-home item (so people can take a reminder of the covenant promise home).

Psalm 25:1-10

  • Lent is a journey of faith.  And here, in this Psalm, the poet prays for God to “teach (us) your paths”.  Where is God leading us?  What path will we take?
  • There are various ways to create a “path” in your worship space.  Stones (river rocks, bricks, etc.) can be arranged on the Table to create an interesting visual.  Or, you can use those same stones to create a path on the floor (down the center aisle, across the front of the sanctuary, etc.).  You can also use things like cloth or paper to create paths.
  • Need a fun idea for a Time with Children?  Why not play Follow the Leader?

1 Peter 3:18-22

  • This scripture is idea for use with a baptismal remembrance service.  Invite the congregation to “remember their baptisms” – maybe even renew the vows that are taken at a baptism.  It certainly can be a meaningful way to start the Lenten season.
  • Place the baptismal font in the front of the worship space.  Don’t forget to fill it with clean, fresh water!  And, if you have a glass basin, consider using water-safe LED lights to make the water shimmer (thus, drawing people’s attention to the font even more).
  • The NRSV is a perfectly wonderful translation to use for this reading, but I really like the wording in The Message, the Easy-to-Read Version, and the Common English Bible.
  • Salvation does not come through baptism.  Salvation comes only through Christ.  In the act of a baptism, we outwardly express what we believe God gives of God’s own free will…

Mark 1:9-15

  • Mark’s version of the temptation of Christ is not nearly as detailed as what we find in Matthew or Luke, but it is still an interesting text.
  • Are we in a wilderness (do we even recognize when we are)?  What temptations do we face during the 40 days of Lent?  What “wild beasts” are with us?  Who are the angels who lend a hand?


  1. Kathleen Splitt

    Amy, I wonder if you could make some suggestions for a theme of wilderness wandering . . . We need it for a worship center at a conference/retreat this week. Thanks.

    1. Amy Loving

      First images and “props” that come to mind:
      – SANDBOX (wooden, or cover the plastic with tan/brown fabric; you can create a “path” with rocks, or create “footprints” or a wandering line with a stick; add bare branches and rocks to create landscape; you could also do this on a smaller scale using craft sand, either spread out on a table or placed into wooden/glass containers)
      – ROCKS (large and small; you could have them “scattered” in the front of the space, with a time for participants to gather them together, maybe to create an “altar” during worship; use rocks to create a path that wanders in and around the worship space, perhaps leading from the entrance to the Table/Font)
      – FABRIC (natural fibers can provide a lot of texture – burlap, rough silks, etc; muted tones and neutral colors; use fabric to create a wandering path)

      I hope that these ideas help. Please email me directly if you need/want other suggestions. 🙂

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