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Feb 22

3rd Sunday in Lent (Year C)

SeekIsaiah 55:1-9
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • For those who celebrate Communion, this text can be used as an invitation to the Table.
  • All of this talk of thirst and hunger can serve as inspiration for food-related ministries.
    • Collect items for a food pantry.
    • Help out at a food pantry, stocking shelves or cleaning.
    • Do you live in an area that is hot and humid?  Hand out free water bottles (and, perhaps, sandwiches or fruit/veggies) to those living on the streets.
  • Take your Communion service to the streets, inviting anyone who walks by to partake in the bread and cup.  (This is particularly interesting and effective for those living in busy, metropolitan areas).
  • We are called to “seek the Lord”, that we might turn from our unrighteous ways and return to the Lord.  You could use this text to talk about the purpose of and practice of the Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon.
  • The word “seek” appears in this text (As well as the Psalm passage).  Decorate your worship space with objects used to enhance your vision: magnifying glasses, eye glasses, binoculars, telescopes, etc.
Psalm 63:1-8
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • This passage could be used as an Affirmation of Faith.
  • This text can also be used – as it is – as a prayer.
  • The words used in this psalm remind us of the fact that we are embodied beings: we thirst, we hunger, we see and taste and touch.  Invite the kids (or the entire congregation) to move as they read this passage aloud.  For example, you could point to your lips when the word “lips” is used; you could fold your hands in prayer when you say “meditate”; you could stretch out your arms when you say “wings”.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • While there may be folks in your congregation who are familiar with the story of Moses striking a rock in the wilderness and water pouring out of it, few may be aware of Paul’s claim that “the rock was Christ”.
  • Paul highlights some key things not to do if seeking to be faithful followers of Christ.  Be careful that you do not use this as an opportunity to issue judgements of others – we aren’t called to judge others, either.
  • We are united in our Communion.  Celebrate the meal that God uses to bring the Body back together.
  • God gives us the strength that we need to undertake all challenges.  This is a wonderful message of hope for our communities to hear – especially as we journey through Lent.
Luke 13:1-9
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • The Message and Easy-to-Read Version
  • Jesus offers commentary on repentance, relating it to some news of current events that is shared with him.  This comes just a few verses after Jesus is asked how he interprets the “present time”.  Instead of these events serving as big signs of some grand plan, Jesus points to personal repentance and not looking down on others.  He follows his commentary with a parable that lifts up the importance of patience and non-judgemental action.
  • How would you feel if you were the fig tree in the parable that Jesus tells?
  • Some may not know what an actual “fig” looks like or tastes like – they may only be familiar with fig-filled cookies.  Use figs in your worship display, and (perhaps) invite people to taste some fresh figs.
  • Christ always offers second chances.  In fact, Jesus offers third and fourth chances, too.  We are called to follow Christ and do likewise…

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