Mar 17

3rd Sunday in Lent (Year A)

baptismal fontWorship Ideas

  • If you are preaching on Exodus 17:1-7, and you have the space and materials to do it, display a water fountain in the front of your worship space that features water that comes out of a rock. If you don’t have access to a pre-made fountain, you may be able to construct one with materials found at a craft store or landscape center. Or, display your baptismal font in such a way that it appears to be springing forth out of a rock.
  • In the Exodus reading, the people demand that Moses give them something to drink. Use this as an opportunity to talk about the importance of clean water and programs that promote that issue.
  • It may seem odd to “make a joyful noise” during the season of Lent, but Psalm 95 calls us to do just that. You may choose to avoid singing songs with the word “Alleluia” in them, but all other songs are certainly able to be sung right now. Letting your congregation sing some of their favorite hymns (and, perhaps, sharing some testimony about why they love that hymn so much) could be the perfect “break” for everyone during the otherwise grey and dreary weeks of Lent.  Remember: every Sunday in Lent is meant to be a “mini-Easter” — joy is still allowed, even as we reflect and repent.
  • Romans 5:1-11 may be somewhat familiar words for people to hear (they are used in some common Assurances of Pardon in worship services), so you may want to consider using a translation that your congregation doesn’t use all of the time.  If you do not regularly use these words in your Assurance of Pardon (Declaration of Forgiveness), this would be a perfect time to do so!
  • The narrative from John 4:5-42 simply begs to be presented in some dramatic way.  Children and youth would enjoy play-acting or doing some sort of pantomime as the scripture is read (and, to be honest, so would some adults).  Or, you may want to read it in the style of an old radio show (complete with sound effects).

Liturgy Suggestions

Call to Worship (inspired by Psalm 95)

Let us raise our voices in song to the Almighty.

Songs of joy and words of praise will ring out from our hearts!

Let us rejoice and celebrate all that God has done.

Let us worship and honor the Creator of All!

Prayer of Confession (inspired by Exodus 17:1-7)

Providing God, we confess that we are demanding when we ought to be gracious. We confess that we make accusations when we ought to seek reconciliation. Forgive us for being so impatient and so ungrateful, Lord. Teach us to trust you, and show us how to love one another.