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.

By Michael Parker

You Are Loved!

A Gathering Meditation or Call to Worship for the First Sunday of Lent

Now is the time for us to worship!
Now is the time for us to come!
So, come, you who in God’s sight are perfectly imperfect!
Come, you who want more of God!
Come, you who heard God remind you
that you are special and loved beyond measure!
Come, People of God, those unified in the waters of baptism!
Come!

Let Us Worship!

A Call to Worship for the First Sunday of Lent

Leader: Come, Beloved! Let us worship!

People: We are gathered to worship the One in whom we place our trust!

Leader: God, who does all things well, is here! God is among God’s people!

People: God is merciful, and God is kind!
Together, we have come to praise the One
Who keeps covenant and decrees! Let us worship!

An Opening Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent

For Mark 1:9-15

God of the baptized, we come to the shores of your presence, reminded that it is here that you cleanse us, restore us, shower upon us, and clean us. Rain down upon us as you reign over us! May your Spirit rest on us. May we, as one body unified at Calvary, experience the blessing and favor of you being pleased with us. Come into this time and space, we pray. Move as only you can. Get the glory, not just now but forever! In Christ’s great name, we pray. Amen.

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!

We Rest in Confidence

A Prayer for the First Sunday of Lent

Loving God, we rest in the confidence that you aren’t just a God to make covenant. You are the God that maintains and keeps covenant. We’ve seen storms, God, storms in our personal journeys, storms in our communities, storms in our nation, even storms in our churches. However, we’ve never seen a storm that you couldn’t handle. We rest in the confidence that you haven’t lost your ability to be with us even now. Remind us and remind yourself, Loving Creator, that your promise is good for all generations. Be with us, even now, we pray. Amen!

Water of Life

A Prayer for Mark 1:9-15

Water of Life, revive us!
Water of Life, renew us!
Water of Life, remind us!
Water of Life, restore us!
Water of Life, rest upon us!
Amen!

Staying Here Would Be Useless

A Sending for Mark 1:9-15

Go, you who have been washed by God!
Go, you who have encountered the transformative power
of God’s cleansing presence!
Go, you for whom the waters have made brand new!
Staying here would be useless!
Go!
Be water to those who need it!
Go!
Be water for those who are without it!
Go!
Be water for those who without it, tomorrow would only be a dream!
Go in God’s grace!
Go in God’s peace!

May God Wash You

A Sending for the First Sunday of Lent

May God wash you until you’re unrecognizable!
May God cleanse you until you smell like him!
May God drench you until you’re soaked in grace and saturated in mercy!
May God’s water be your source not just today but forever!
In the name of Christ! Amen!

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!


Rev. Michael Parker is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church, and he pastors Bells United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Prince George's County, Maryland. Rev. Parker is pursuing a D.Min. at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore. He has been a consistent voice for the voiceless.

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