Written on the Heart

Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B

That the gospel is countercultural is beyond debate. But texts like this one are so subtly against our way of thinking that we might not even realize the pull to deny this proclamation even as we preach it. Yet, how can we make such a claim about a magnificent vision of the kin-dom of God? It seems something that we all long for on a regular basis, particularly during a time of unrest and division. This is a utopia worth claiming, so why would we be reluctant?

Each week during this series, an emoji (yellow-faced emotions) will be presented as the feeling or emotion of the scripture text that children and families can wonder and discuss every week. Display your own version of the emoji in creative ways. Cut a big poster-sized emoji each week or display the emoji on the screen in your worship space.

Jeremiah 31:31-34, NIRV

31“The days are coming,” announces the Lord.
“I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel.
I will also make it with the people of Judah.
32It will not be like the covenant
I made with their people of long ago.
That was when I took them by the hand.
I led them out of Egypt.
But they broke my covenant.
They did it even though I was like a husband to them,”
announces the Lord.

33“This is the covenant I will make with Israel
after that time,” announces the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds.
I will write it on their hearts.
I will be their God.
And they will be my people.
34 They will not need to teach their neighbor anymore.
And they will not need to teach one another anymore.
They will not need to say, ‘Know the Lord.’
That’s because everyone will know me.
From the least important of them to the most important,
all of them will know me,”
announces the Lord.
“I will forgive their evil ways.
I will not remember their sins anymore.”

Thinking emoji

Symbol: Yellow emoji face with hand on chin to suggest “thought and knowing.”

Children’s Message

Have you ever played a game when the rules weren’t followed? (Let children respond.) Is there a difference between rules you must follow and rules that you want to follow?

I like to play checkers. Do you know how to play checkers? (Let children answer.) There are rules that you must follow to play a game of checkers. Imagine a game of checkers where both players argue about each move and state that the other player isn’t following the rules. They even must get the rule book out to see who is right. They continue to argue each move and look up the rule in the rule book after each turn.

That doesn’t sound like too much fun, does it?

Now imagine two teams of children playing a soccer game. This is a game where both teams know the rules so well that they use them to play the very best game possible. In fact, the referees don’t even need to be there, because the teams followed the rules so well.

I wonder if you would rather play a game of checkers that way or the game of soccer? (Let children respond.) In today’s scripture passage, Jeremiah is promising that one day everyone will know God’s rules. This is how I described the soccer game as well. When everyone knows and follows the rules, God says, life will be full of peace and joy for everyone.

Today’s emoji symbol is the face with a hand on the chin to suggest thinking. This reminds us of God’s promise or covenant in this passage from Jeremiah that says, “I will put my law in their minds. I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God. And they will be my people.” The symbol reminds us to love God with our minds and honor God with our thoughts.

Prayer: Loving and caring God, put your rules in our minds and love in our hearts so that we can live the life you have planned for us—a life filled with joy and peace for everyone. Amen.

In lieu of Children’s messages for Palm Sunday and Holy Week, families are invited to use the Holy Week House Party in their homes and discover the Risen Christ together as a family.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture verses are from the New International Reader's Version (NIRV), Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In This Series...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Purple

In This Series...


Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes