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Feb 12

1st Sunday in Lent (Year C)

basketsDeuteronomy 26:1-11
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • I’m not sure that people think about stewardship during Lent, but this scripture certainly lends itself to having the conversation.  We are told to take some of our “first fruits” and offer them to the Lord.  It doesn’t matter how much “fruit” has been produced — it matters that a portion is given as a gift of thanks and praise to God.
  • Consider using some of the verses as the prayer before and/or after the offering is collected.
  • We must remember that we don’t give our first fruits to God because we “have to” — we (are supposed to) do it because we genuinely want to give thanks to God for the gifts we have received.  Do we express enough gratitude in our giving?
  • The offering described in this text is to be gathered in baskets.  Use baskets in your worship display today.  You could fill the baskets with fruit (real or artificial).  If you use real fruit, consider taking the fruit to shut-in members and friends after worship.
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • The Lord is our shelter, refuge, and dwelling place.  Create a “shelter” in your worship space – perhaps using blocks or tent-like material.
  • The psalmist states that the Lord will “command his angels concerning you to guard you”.  Most Protestant churches don’t speak of “guardian angels” very much, but this provides a great opportunity to explore the subject a bit.
  • Though the psalmist mentions that we will trample on young lions and serpents, I do not suggest using trampled snakes or cats in your worship display.  My guess is that the animal rights folks wouldn’t like that very much…
Romans 10:8b-13
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Our faith is a gift, and it is vitally important.  It is also meant to be shared.  We are called to confess our belief in Christ – not just keep it to ourselves.
  • Make a worship display that includes paper cutouts of lip-shapes, heart-shapes, speech balloons, and thought bubbles.
  • Or… use various types of telephones in your worship display (since “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”).
Luke 4:1-13
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • As we begin our 40 day journey through Lent, we meet Jesus in the wilderness.  Our Lord was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness, where he fasted and prayed.  While we are “allowed” to break our Lenten fasts on Sundays (which do not count as any of the 40 days during Lent), Jesus fasted for 40 days in a row.
  • Jesus was tempted, and so are we.  How do we respond to the temptations we face?
  • The devil quoted our lesson from the Psalms.  Have we experienced the misuse of scripture?  Have we ever been guilty of misusing the scriptures?
  • This passage could be presented as a dramatic reading – perhaps with someone even wearing devil horns as they read the devil’s words.

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