This is the Sign

Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise

First Sunday in Lent, Year B

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday; we admit that. But this first Sunday is when many people become aware of the season. If there are rituals to be adopted, they will often begin today. So, we are on the brink again, or still, or even for the first time, of the journey. That’s why we begin with promise; we begin with covenant.

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.

Genesis 9:11-16, NIRV

11Here is my covenant I am making with you. The waters of a flood will never again destroy all life. A flood will never again destroy the earth.”

12God continued, “My covenant is between me and you and every living creature with you. It is a covenant for all time to come. Here is the sign of the covenant I am making. 13I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. 15Then I will remember my covenant between me and you and every kind of living creature. The waters will never again become a flood to destroy all life. 16When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it. I will remember that my covenant will last forever. It is a covenant between me and every kind of living creature on earth.”

Rainbow emoji

Symbol: Rainbow emoji.

Children’s Message

Have you ever made a promise to someone? (Let children respond.) We all make promises. You might promise your dad that you will take out the trash from the kitchen. You might promise your mom that you will clean your room and hang up your clothes. Or maybe you have even promised to keep a secret.

Has anyone ever broken a promise? (Let children answer.) I wonder how you felt when someone broke a promise to you. What did you say? (Let children respond.) You were probably sad and said something like, “But you promised!” Sometimes people aren’t very good at keeping promises.

God makes promises too! I know that God always keeps the promises that God makes. Our Bible story today is about a man you probably have heard about. His name is Noah.

(Tell the story of Noah in your own words. Be sure to include phrasing that includes covenant and promise. At the end of your version, be sure to conclude with the reminder of the promise. God placed a rainbow in the sky and said to Noah, “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the promise between me and all life on earth.” God said that every time God saw a rainbow in the sky, it would be a reminder of the promise that God made.

The rainbow promise God makes is to not destroy the world with a flood again, no matter how bad people are. That provides a hint about what is coming in Lent and Easter.

A covenant is a set of shared promises. The Bible is full of covenants between God and people. God always promises first. Then people respond with promises. God promises to keep God’s promises, even if we don’t keep ours.

God keeps all the promises that God has made. Have you ever seen a rainbow? Today’s emoji isn’t of a face, but of a rainbow. The next time you see a rainbow, whether it be in the sky or an emoji, remember the promise God made to Noah. We can remember that no matter what, God will be faithful to us and keep the promises that God has made to us.

Prayer: Loving God, we are thankful for the story of Noah and your faithfulness to keep your promises. Help us to be faithful in keeping ours. Amen.


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