Feb 18

2nd Sunday in Lent (Year C)

CalendarGenesis 15:1-12, 17-18
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Abram is impatient.  He is aware of the promise that God has made to him regarding an heir, but he isn’t certain that God is going to keep up the divine end of the bargain.  Indeed, Abram criticizes God for not doing things according to his (Abram’s) timeline.  He doesn’t take any responsibility for the “slave” born in his house, either.  He is not the best role model in this passage.  Still, he is someone who many of us can relate to, as he wrestles with waiting for God to act (instead of just acting on his own).
  • God tells Abram to prepare a sacrifice.  And God’s actions seal a covenant with Abram.  What sacrifice is God calling us to make?  And how might God act in our lives?
  • If you are preaching on this passage, you could decorate your worship space with a large burning pot that is filled with dry ice (so that it appears to be smoking) and a burning torch (perhaps a tiki torch or a large bundle of candles).  I do not encourage the inclusion of any sacrificed animals in the worship display.
Psalm 27
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • This is a familiar psalm, and there are several musical settings that could be used in worship.
  • You may want to provide your congregation with some visual reminder that the Lord is our light – perhaps small flashlights or tealight candles.
  • God is our shelter and light, but that is of little comfort to those who have no home.  Use this psalm to inspire your congregation to undertake some mission work with/for the homeless in your area.
Philippians 3:17-4:1
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • With a text that includes the phrase “join in imitating me”, how can we resist leading the congregation in a game of Follow the Leader?  It could be particularly fun for the kids in the congregation to lead everyone in the game.
  • In this passage, we are reminded to ponder on what our minds are focused.  We are called to be focused on the Lord, welcoming him to transform our hearts and minds to his glory.
Luke 13:31-35
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Jesus is “warned” that Herod wants him dead, and he responds with a foreshadowing of his death.  While Herod (and the Pharisees) want Jesus dead and gone, they do not understand what that will bring.  Jesus’ death ultimately brings hope and new life.
  • Jesus compares himself to a mother hen who gathers her chicks under her wing.  For those who refuse to see any sort of feminine imagery in relation to the Divine, this may come as a bit of a shock.
  • The Lord tells the Pharisees what is on his schedule: casting out demons and performing cures.  You may want to decorate your worship space with calendars and day planners.  What do we have on our calendars?
Luke 9:28-36, (37-43)
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • This is an alternative text for this Sunday, that you may want to use (especially if you didn’t read the Transfiguration story on Transfiguration Sunday).
  • Peter, John, and James know that something special is happening, but they aren’t really sure how to respond.  So, they suggest that dwellings be constructed for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah.  It is understandable that they would want to keep these men around, but Jesus, Moses, and Elijah are not ones to settle down and “stay”.  They are constantly on the move.  This is a good reminder for us and our ministries — we are not meant to “stay”, either…
  • The boy who is possessed with an unclean spirit suffers from symptoms that may remind us of other physical conditions that cause seizures.  You may want to use this portion of the passage to raise awareness for such illnesses and the research that is being done to find cures.

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