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Feb 24

2nd Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

  • Another Sunday in Lent, and another covenant made by God.  This time, the covenant is made between God and Abram/Abraham, promising fruitfulness in this generation and all those who follow.
  • Abraham is told that he will be the ancestor of a multitude of nations, and I think it is safe to say that he has certainly been just that.  Christianity, Islam, Judaism… all of these (and others) claim Abraham as one of their spiritual fathers.  This, of course, means that we are all siblings (who, unfortunately, seem to behave like whiny little kids in the back seat of a car).
  • When this covenant with Abram/Abraham is discussed in chapter 13 and chapter 15, the Lord compares the number of descendants that Abram/Abraham will have to dust and stars.  Images of dust blowing in the wind or galaxies full of stars could be used to decorate the worship space – especially if you are able to project images on a screen or television.
  • You’ll notice that verses 8-14 are not included in the lectionary reading.  These verses include the instructions for the sign/seal of the covenant that God makes with Abraham.  Unlike the rainbow that was featured on the First Sunday in Lent, I do NOT recommend featuring the sign/seal of this covenant in your worship decor…

Psalm 22:23-31

  • Verse 26 proclaims that “the poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord.”  Why not collect food for a local food pantry as part of your reflection on this passage?  Invite the congregation (a week in advance, or via email announcements) to bring in canned goods and other non-perishable food pantry items.  Collect the items in large baskets, and/or stack them at the front of the worship space to serve as the visual aid for this passage.  Then, following worship, distribute the food items to a local food pantry.
  • Verse 30 speaks of how “future generations will be told about the Lord”.  Invite the congregation to write letters or draw pictures that express to “future generations” their love of God, their faith in Christ, etc — basically, let the congregation “tell” those future generations about the Lord.  Collect all that is created and place it (as well as a Bible, a copy of the worship bulletin and sermon for this Sunday, and – if possible – a group picture of those participating) in a time capsule and bury it on the church property (or place it in a church vault).  Be sure that there are specific instructions left (via a church council or other group/publication) that state when the time capsule is to be opened.

Romans 4:13-25

  • Faith does NOT equal “no doubt”.  Go back and re-read the entire Abraham saga.  There were plenty of times when he doubted that things were going to happen, and he tried to get things done on his own terms.  But, God had patience through it all, and Abraham continued to have faith.
  • I am particularly fond of the Easy-to-Read version of this text.

Mark 8:31-38

  • Jesus tells Peter to “get behind” him.  And God tells Abraham (in the Genesis passage) to “walk before” him.  Are there times when we need to follow, and other times when God needs to push us forward?
  • Jesus’ message is constantly one of love, grace, and mercy.  Is this something that we are truly proud of?  Or, do we (perhaps secretly) wish that Jesus said/did something else?
  • We have to be willing to risk everything if we are to gain anything.
  • For your worship display (if you are focusing on this text), place a large, wooded cross on the Table.  You may want to lay it on its side (propped up, laying lengthwise across the Table).  Or, you may want to carry it into the worship space and lean it up against the Table or pulpit.

2 pings

  1. 5th Sunday of Easter (Year B) - The Worship Closet » The Worship Closet

    […] (the 2nd Sunday in Lent, to be specific).  In case you didn’t see it then, here’s a link to my suggestions for this text that I posted […]

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