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Mar 12

5th Sunday in Lent (Year C)

sheavesIsaiah 43:16-21
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • When it seems as though there is no way, God makes a way.
  • Use blue fabric to simulate the “mighty waters” in your worship space, and use large river rocks (or paper/cardboard cutouts in the shape of large stepping-stones) to create a path.
  • Use rough, brown and tan fabric (to simulate a sandy desert) to decorate the Table.  Feature a bubbling fountain in the middle of the Table (to represent the water in the wilderness).
  • Set up a prayer station that focuses on our letting go of the “former things” of life.  Cover a table with tealight candles – all of them already lit.  Invite people to pray about something that they are desperate to let go of or change.  After their time of prayer, have them extinguish one of the candles, symbolizing the fact that the past is gone and God is about to do a new thing.
Psalm 126
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • While the season of Lent tends to be somber, this psalm reminds us that we have real joy in God.
  • Begin the worship service with music that reflects the somber side of Lent.  As the service moves forward, let the music get more and more joyous.  You may want to conclude by singing Bringing In the Sheaves
  • Decorate your worship space with large bundles of grain (sheaves).
  • Use this worship service as an opportunity to bless the farmers and gardeners in your congregation.
Philippians 3:4b-14
  • Common English Bible, NRSV, and The Message
  • Any “righteousness” that we think we earn or prove for ourselves is meaningless.  What is truly valuable is only found in Christ.  Indeed, our goal is to be found in Christ alone.  Our means to reach that goal is faith.
  • We are to be “found in Christ”.  Make an icon of Christ (or the cross) using pictures of all the people in the congregation.
John 12:1-8
  • Common English Bible and NRSV
  • Judas seems to ask a perfectly reasonable question, but Jesus dismisses it.  Jesus favors the woman who follows her own path and makes her own choice regarding the treasure she has.
  • How do we act like Judas, thinking that we know best how people should use their treasures?  Do we want to control how other people answer God’s call?
  • You may want to fill the worship space with a perfume or fragrance.  Keep in mind that there are some who are very sensitive to perfumes and smells.  If you want to use a fragrance warmer or scented candle, try to use a scent that is subtle – perhaps a warm vanilla or fresh apple scent.
  • Set up a prayer station where people can create their own anointing oil, using a vegetable oil and various essential oils.

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