Sunday, March 27, 2022

Lukan Lessons and Carols for Lent: Fourth Sunday in Lent (March 27, 2022)

(This is the fifth liturgy in a series of Lukan Lessons and Carols for Lent. The Ash Wednesday Liturgy and a more detailed explanation of the series can be found here; Lent 1, 2, & 3 can be found herehere, and here. I am excluding parts of the worship that were not directly connected to the series as well as parts that I give extemporaneously.)

I will post the liturgies for ensuing weeks as I write them. I'm happy for anyone to use any part(s) of this series in their own worship contexts with proper attribution, but I would request that you let me know in the comments that you're doing so.

(I created these worksheets as bulletin inserts to help with notetaking)

Liturgy by Rev. Katey Schwind Williams

*Call to Worship (based on Luke 10:25-37)
Leader: We come before the Lord seeking eternal life.
People: We find life in loving the Lord our God with all our heart, being, strength, and mind.
Leader: We find life in loving our neighbor as ourselves.
People: Let us live in Christ’s love!
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession (based on Luke 11:9-13)
Leader: Jesus tells us to ask, and we will receive; seek, and we will find, knock, and the door will be opened to us. No matter what we may have done, the Lord desires to give good things to God’s children. In full confidence in God’s mercy and love, let us confess our sins and seek reconciliation with the Lord.

Confession of Sin (based on Luke 11:39-52)
People: How terrible for us, Lord! We carefully cultivate our outward image, but we disregard the greed and wickedness within our hearts. How terrible for us, Lord! We carefully calculate the tithes that we owe without remembering our debt of justice and love. How terrible for us, Lord! We build memorials to the prophets and apostles who provide us easy comfort, while harassing and rejecting those who challenge us to live more holy lives. We oppose Christ with our thoughtless actions and faithless lives. Forgive us, Lord. Help us to willingly bear the yoke of kingdom-building and all that it requires with humility, mutual forbearance, and righteousness. In your mercy, hear our prayer… [Silent prayers of personal forgiveness]

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Luke 12:22-31)
Leader: Beloved, as spring begins to bloom around us, we can see how God dresses the lilies in splendor beyond that of Solomon, even though they will only last a season. How much more will God do for you! Even the worst of human sin cannot separate us from God’s extravagant love. So do not give in to worry or despair: all of your sins are forgiven in Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God!

In Other Words…*

Lessons & Carols:**
The Fruitless Fig Tree:                                   Luke 13:1-9
Healing the Bent Woman:                         Luke 13:10-17
Hymn GTG #796:                    “We Come to You for Healing, Lord” [vv. 1 & 2]

What is God’s Kingdom Like?:                 Luke 13:18-30
Mourning for Jerusalem:                           Luke 13:31-35
Hymn GTG #372:                                        “O for a World” [vv. 1 & 4]

Lessons from a Banquet:                            Luke 14:1-24
Give Up Everything You Have:                 Luke 14:25-35
Hymn GTG #697:                                         “Take My Life” [vv. 1, 4, & 6]

The Good Shephard Parable:                    Luke 15:1-10
The Prodigal Son Parable:                         Luke 15:11-32

Leader: This is the Word of the Lord!
People: Thanks be to God!

*Hymn GTG #462, “I Love to Tell the Story” [v. 1]
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ‘tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else could do.
I love to tell the story; ‘twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love!


*I use this time to review last week's story and give the kids an opportunity to tell me what they remember.

**I'm reading primarily from the International Children's Bible (see my explanation for this on my Ash Wednesday Post). I'm also preparing "scripts" ahead of time with the dialogues highlighted and asking members of the congregation to "play" those characters. We're not involving any costumes or acting beyond enthusiastic reading, but you could do a lot with these sections to keep them interesting. 

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