Last year for Lent, I suggested Packing Away the Alleluia. This year I offer seeing Lent as a Time of Prayer. Each sermon will highlight a different type of prayer as related to that week’s lectionary text. While the Lenten texts do connect to one phrase of the Lord’s Prayer each week (as noted by Carolyn Brown–click here and scroll down to her second Lenten theme), I am going more general in my focus. I do, however, love the idea of a congregation-wide challenge to Pray the Lord’s Prayer every day. As my friend Jill said, “Think of the power of the entire church praying the same prayer every day during the Season of Lent!”
Here is an outline of my sermons…I hope you will return to see where this season takes us. Peace.
for the 1st Sunday–February 17, Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Celebrate the bounty!
for the 2nd Sunday–February 24, Psalm 27 Whom shall I fear?
for the 3rd Sunday–March 3, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 He will provide the way.
for the 4th Sunday–March 10, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Everything has become new.
for the 5th Sunday–March 17, John 12:1-8 Mary took a pound of costly perfume.
for Psalm Sunday–March 24, Luke 19:28-40 The Lord needs it.
(And for Easter–March 31, John 20:2,4; Luke 24:12 Running Forward!)
There’s a Prayer for That…Celebrate the Bounty!
for Sunday, February 17, 2013
1st Sunday in Lent
lectionary focus: Deuteronomy 26:1-11
inspiration: Sid Burgess/The Pastor’s Peace/February 2013 (to be posted soon)
This past week something very special happened. This past week, the call went out for “Pitchers and Catchers to report!” This means that Major League baseball players have started reporting for Spring Training. And when it is Spring Training, that means Baseball Season is getting close. And when it is Baseball Season, that means we are done with winter!
This past week, we also began the Season of Lent. Lent is the time we prepare for the Mystery and Joy of Easter. During these six weeks, people work on improving the disciplines of their faith. One discipline people study is prayer. Praying in how we talk to God. Praying is how we get close to God. When we pray, we recognize that God is with us.
In our Bible story today, we are reminded that the Lord gives us many good things. And when we receive something, it is appropriate for us to say Thank You. We are saying Thank You to God when we pray the blessing before a meal. But we can say Thank You to God at other times for other things. When we say our bedtime prayers, we can thank God for the good things that have happened during the day. We can thank God when we hear good news, or find something that was lost, or see something beautiful, or enjoy being with a friend. Taking a moment to celebrate all the bounty that the Lord gives us helps us realize the abundance of blessings around us. And with this gratitude and thanksgiving, we become more generous in sharing with others. And in sharing with others, we become stronger as children of God.
So I call on each of you to focus on your prayers during this Season of Lent. Thank God for the good things in your life.
Will you pray with me? And in my family, when we thank God with the blessing before a meal, we hold hands. So will you hold hands with someone near you? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for all the good things
You give to me.
to say Thank You
with a grateful heart.
And thank You
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.