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.

The beginning of Lent is always an important time. We want to make sure that everyone is on board with the spiritual practices or disciplines the congregation is recommending. Be clear from the outset if there are prayers to be prayed and how often. Are there texts to be read or devotions to be studied together? Remember, “rend your hearts” is a plural invitation; we are in this together. Whatever recommendations are made for the body outside of worship ought to be modeled during worship. Let the congregation hear or say the prayers they need to be hearing in their own homes and in their own lives.

Here too is a time to gather around symbols. The series references the rainbow as the scripturally recommended sign of the covenant we have with God. So, make sure the sign appears before the congregation, not just on this Sunday but throughout the season.

Come! Let’s Worship God

A Call to Worship for the First Sunday in Lent, Year B

Come! Let’s worship God, who makes and keeps covenant.
Come! See the sign of God’s promise in rainbow and rhythm.
Come! Let’s worship Almighty God! Hallelujah!

Valerie Bridgeman Davis, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 56.

Prayer of Praise & Adoration

(Genesis 9:8-17, Mark 1:9-15)

God of storms and rainbows,
God of rain and sunshine,
God of all creation we worship and adore you.

We gaze in wonder at the beauty of your creation
and marvel at stormy skies transformed with the vibrant colours of a rainbow.
Like Noah and his family,
we praise you for this everlasting sign of your love and care
for the whole creation in your desire to preserve and not destroy life.

And at Jesus' baptism,
the sky again revealed your love
when you identified him as your beloved Son,
strengthening him with the same Spirit
who empowers and strengthens each of us.

For all these assurances of your love for us and for the whole creation,
we praise and worship you, O God,
in the power of the Holy Spirit
and in the name of Jesus Christ,
our Savior and Lord. Amen.

— written by Moira Laidlaw and posted on Liturgies Online. Visit her site for other great lectionary-based resources. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/call-to-worship-opening-prayer-lent-1.html

Be with Us as We Wait, God

A Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent
Inspired by Genesis 9:8-17 and Mark 1:9-15

God, there’s a lot of water out there! There’s water that you call us from, nurtured us in, fed us through, wrapped us up in, and water that when the time was just right released us to newness, released us to life, released us to know the experience of pain. We wait on you, God who controls the water. We wait! We wait for the rivers to become calm again. We wait for the streams of peace to drench our feet, our feet as we go forward knowing our steps are ordered by you. God, the water is wide, but your grace to handle it is so much wider! Be with us, God, in the water, be with us, we pray. In the Only name worthy of such praise, we pray. Amen!

Michael Parker, Lenten Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.

Prayer of Intercession: February 26, 2012

(based on Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15)

Almighty Creator of the universe, and loving Father of us all:

Every rainbow reminds us that you are in control of the earth, of nature, of the seasons, and of the end. Your Spirit enriches the earth with the gift of life to all creatures, including all the varieties of birds and animals. Help us to care for the environment so that the earth is a healthier place to live for our children and all the generations who follow us. Help us to live like the humble earthworms who leave the soil richer and more fertile after using it, so that your name is then respected and honoured by all peoples.

We thank you for your Son, our Lord Jesus, who has taken all our sins, especially those we are ashamed of from our past, and paid for them on the cross even before we were born. Renew us to be more humble and loving like he is, so that we can be walking advertisements for you wherever you lead us in the coming weeks.

By your Holy Spirit, help us to swim in and enjoy the waters of our baptism in the way that surfers love to live in the waters and ride on the waves each day. Let us live with a good conscience along with all your people who flock to the living waters on the shore of eternity, as we anticipate the resurrection we share with our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Have mercy on
those who want to give up on life
those who are afraid of the future
those who look for fulfilment in evil
those who are addicted to destructive drugs
like alcohol and the illegal drugs in our society,
as well as hatred or pride or other evils.

Send your Spirit to strengthen your children as they travel like backpackers over the earth, moving on each day a little closer to their permanent home with Jesus in heaven.

Bless the work of those who minister like angels to the sick and dying, to the people who are depressed and to those who want to give up on life here in your world. Watch over those who work in dangerous occupations to make the world a safer place for us to enjoy.

As we come to your table today, we thank you for filling our deepest hunger with the bread of life, Jesus himself. Quench our deepest thirst through the wine of his suffering, which was too deep for us to drink. We watch in wonder and praise as we focus on him during this Lenten season. In these days draw us closer to the one who died for us, for his sake. Amen.

— from the Lutheran Church of Australia’s Sunday by Sunday website.
Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/prayer-of-intercession-lent-1.html

Forgive Us Our Laziness

A Prayer of Confession for the First Sunday of Lent, Year B

To you, Sovereign, do we lift up our souls. We often find ourselves struggling with shame, and we are afraid. Often, we do not know what to believe. We shrink from rigorous pursuit of your ways. Forgive us our laziness; and make us to know your ways; teach us your paths. Lead us in truth and be mindful of your mercy toward us. Deliver us from the sins of our youth; may they not haunt us as we seek you, for your goodness’ sake, O God. Hear our prayer in the name of Jesus, the One full of grace and truth. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Friends, hear the good news: God through Christ has remembered us with kindness and steadfast love. As far as east is from west, so has God removed our sins. Believe the gospel: in Christ you are forgiven.

Valerie Bridgeman Davis, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 151.

Power Comes from God Alone

A Sending for the First Sunday of Lent

Now and always, may the God of your baptism be the God of your every blessing!

May favor and peace be multiplied to you so much that you have to give some away!

May you forever be reminded each time you encounter water that its power, which comes from God alone, sustains and makes you whole!

Michael Parker, Lenten Liturgical Resources from Africana Writers, edited by Safiya Fosua, 2020.

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