Lenten Series 2018
- Sunday, March 18, 2018 View Next Date
God is Holding Your Life
The Lord will protect you on your journeys—whether going or coming– from now until forever from now. - The Psalmist
The Psalms are the prayers of the Hebrew people and run the gamut from praise to gut-wrenching pleas for help. Throughout this poetry runs a thread - we can trust God to hold our lives. In this Lenten series, we take a break from the worry, anxiety and distress that life can bring and let Holy Assurance hold us fast.
(graphic by permission: worshipdesignstudio.com)
Feb. 14/18 Ash Wednesday
In Life, in Death, in Life Beyond Death, God is With Us
An opportunity for you to begin the season of Lent with prayer and contemplation. Each prayer station will lead you in a different activity.
The sanctuary will be open from 10-noon and 5:30-7:30 pm to provide an opportunity for prayer, meditation and the receiving of ashes. All are welcome. The Ash Wednesday ritual is a "come and go" time with prayer stations.
Feb. 18/18 Lent 1 Psalm 121 9 am, 11 am
God is Holding Your Life
The Lord will protect you on your journeys - whether going or coming - from now until forever from now.
Psalm 121, the so-called “Traveler's Psalm,” speaks of transition, fear and the invitation to deep trust no matter our circumstance. The Psalmist looks to the hills–the symbol of the steadfast presence of God - for help and rescue. This is trust in the midst of the journeys of life.
Feb. 25/18 Lent 2 Psalm 63 9 am, 11am
God! My God! It’ s you - I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you! My body desires you in a dry and tired land, no water anywhere.
Psalms of Lament make up over half of this book of scripture. And the blues are one of the best forms of lament. Psalm 63 portrays a vast wasteland, a desert of life. It is a “there’s got to be more than this” lament. We can trust God to bring new life to our dry and parched souls.
March 4/18 Lent 3 Psalm 23 9am, 11am
Surely Goodness and Mercy
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff - they protect me.
Even as we move in fear and darkness, love is with us. Psalm 23, probably the most familiar of scriptures of assurance, invites us not to a life without grief, but to a life of trust that God’s love will guide us even and especially in the midst of our fear of the shadows of death.
March 11/18 Lent 4 Psalm 46 9 am, 11am
There is a River
There is a river whose streams gladden God’ s city, the holiest dwelling of the Most High. God is in that city. It will never crumble. God will help it when morning dawns.
Psalm 46 declares trust with utmost confidence in images of safe and glad cities fed by God’s streams of help and mercy, the end of wars, and all nations celebrating together. This psalm of praise offers us a model for proclaiming God’s reign this day!
March 18/18 Lent 5 Psalm 136 9 am, 11am
God's Love Endures Forever
Give thanks to the Lord because God is good. God’ s faithful love lasts forever! Give thanks to the one who shaped the earth on the water - God’s faithful love lasts forever. Give thanks to the one who split the Red Sea in two - God’s faithful love lasts forever.
Our journey through the psalms culminates in a litany of thanksgiving and the assurance that the love of the Holy Living Creator endures forever. God is Alpha and Omega, the All-in-All, the One who has, does, and will, lead the people out of their despair and discouragement. All generations proclaim trust in God!
March 25/18 Palm Sunday Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29; Mark 11: 1-11 9am, 11am
This is the Day
The stone that the builders rejected has become the very stone that holds together the entire foundation. This is the work of the Eternal, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Eternal God has made; let us celebrate and be happy today. O Eternal One, save us, we beg You. O Eternal One, we beg You, bring us success!
We continue our prayers of thanksgiving even as we acknowledge Jesus’ controversial entrance into the Holy City and ask ourselves: “How do we usher The Holy One into our cities THIS DAY?” “How do we open our lives, our minds and our doors and take what might be controversial action THIS DAY?”
March 30/18 Good Friday Psalm 31 11 am (with Fairfield United Church)
Into Your Hands
My life is consumed with sadness; my years are consumed with groaning.
Strength fails me because of my suffering;[a]my bones dry up... I entrust my spirit into your hands; you, Lord, God of faithfulness - you have saved me.
Jesus looked to his tradition’s liturgical poetry at his greatest moments of lament–“my God why have you forsaken me?”–and the ultimate moment of trust–“into your hands I commend my spirit.” This week, in Psalms such as Psalm 31, we affirm that our cries to a God that sometimes feels absent are also met with an unending presence to which we can say, “my life is yours.”
April 1/18 Easter Sunday Mark 16: 1-8 9 am, 11 am
Like a Rolling Stone
At the rising of the sun, after the Sabbath on the first day of the week, the two Marys and Salome brought sweet-smelling spices they had purchased to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. Along the way, they wondered to themselves how they would roll the heavy stone away from the opening. But when they arrived, the stone was already rolled away in spite of its weight and size.
The women end up so afraid, they run away and tell nobody… at least that’s how the original ending of Mark goes. Despite what we understand as amazing, hopeful, news, they and the other disciples are now more terrified than ever. They feel lost, without direction, “without a home … like a rolling stone.” Thanks be to God that we know the joy and hope of this story so that when you feel like a rolling stone, or when life seems to be rolling out of control, you can come back to the tomb, pause, and remember that God is Holding Your Life.