Sunday, March 6, 2022

Lukan Lessons and Carols for Lent: First Sunday in Lent (March 6, 2022)

(This is the second 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. I plan to base each week's liturgy on the previous week's reading, in order to help foster a sense of continuity and to "catch up" anyone who missed a week. 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 1:1-4)
Leader: Many people have already given accounts of the gospel.
People: We join our voices to theirs in telling the story.
Leader: We offer our testimony so that all might have confidence in the Word.
People: We pass on what has been handed down to us.
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession
Leader: The story of our salvation is full of skepticism and doubt, corruption and guilt, frailty and failings, because it’s a story about humanity. But it’s also a story about forgiveness and grace and strength and life because it’s also God’s story. So let us face the truths of our story unashamed, confident that our sin cannot change the ending that God has promised us.

Confession of Sin (based on Luke 1 & 3:1-18)
People: Eternal God, we see ourselves in the stories of your people, but we struggle to admit the ways that we, too, have fallen short of your glory. Like Zechariah, we dismiss your promises as impossibilities. Like Elizabeth, we value the opinions of others above your approval. Like Herod, we live our lives as we please and silence all who challenge us. We lack the faith of Mary and Simeon, Anna and John. Forgive us. Help us to hear your voice in our own lives, and to proclaim your gospel without fear. In your mercy, hear our prayer… [Silent prayers of personal forgiveness]

Declaration of Forgiveness
Leader: Friends, the Good News speaks for itself: In Jesus Christ, we are fully, joyfully, unconditionally forgiven. Thanks be to God!

The Peace
Leader: The Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all!
People: And also with you!
[Please share the peace of Christ during the “Textology”]*

In Other Words…**

Lessons and Carols:***
Jesus is Tempted/Jesus Teaches:            Luke 4:1-30 (ICB)
Glory to God Hymn #166: “Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days” [vv. 1 & 2]

Jesus Heals/Fishers of People:             Luke 4:31-5:16 (ICB)
Glory to God Hymn #157: “I Danced in the Morning” [vv. 1 & 2]

Jesus and the Pharisees:                       Luke 5:17-6:16 (ICB)
Glory to God Hymn #630: “Fairest Lord Jesus” [vv. 1 & 4]

The Sermon on the Plain:                      Luke 6:17-49

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

Glory to God Hymn #462:  “I Love to Tell the Story” [v. 1]

Invitation to the Table: 
Siblings in Christ, this table has been set for you. Whether you are physically here in the sanctuary or watching worship from home; whether you have bread and grape juice or crackers and milk; whether you’re a lifelong Christian or are just beginning to explore what it means to be in relationship with this “Jesus”; whether you feel safe and at home in the world today or are questioning whether you belong—this meal is prepared for YOU. This is not my table; it’s not a Presbyterian table; it’s not an American table; it’s not a table for any particular race, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political affiliation. This is GOD’S table, and God says ALL are welcome. So no matter who you are, come to this table in joy and be fed by God’s goodness and love.

The Lord be with you/and also with you./Lift up your hearts/We lift them up to the Lord./Let us give thanks to the Lord our God/It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Great Thanksgiving:
It is truly right and our greatest joy to praise you, O God. You are the author of our lives, taking every tragedy of our own making and using it for good. You pick us up when we fall down, give us hope when we feel hopeless, save us when we are beyond saving. You have drawn us out of slavery, out of the wilderness, out of exile, out of storms, out of hiding, and out of ourselves. You have delivered us, time and time again, from that which threatens to overwhelm. Even when all seems lost, you rewrite our ending so that death and sin will never have the final word. You have given us the stories that define us, Lord, and with gratitude we receive them, we remember them, we live them, and we proclaim them. For all this, Lord, we praise you, joining our voices with the choirs of heaven and with all the faithful of every time and place who forever sing to the glory of your name: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

Author of all creation, we thank you for what truly is the greatest story ever told: the gospel of your son, Jesus Christ. His entire life is a testimony to your goodness and grace. He was born out of your love for humanity; he grew in your wisdom and truth; he lived in solidarity with the least and the lowly; he died in humble obedience to your will; and he rose again in victory over death. His divine love transforms us, and compels us to tell his story, a story of your Word becoming flesh for the salvation of all humankind.

We give you thanks that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.” For as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim Christ’s saving death and resurrection until he comes again in glory. Great is the mystery of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and cup, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit, make us one with Christ and with all who share this feat, united in ministry in every place. As this bread is Christ’s body for us, send us out to be Christ’s body in the world. In union with your Church in heaven and on earth, we pray, O God, that you will fulfill your eternal purpose in us and in all the world. Keep us faithful in your service until Christ comes in final victory, and we shall feast with all your saints in the joy of your eternal realm. Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, almighty God, now and forever. Amen.
[Lord’s Prayer]

Glory to God Hymn #506: “Look Who Gathers at Christ’s Table!”

Learn more about our Lenten theme by going to


*In recognition of the fact that Christ's body extends far beyond the walls of our sanctuary, that worship happens in every time and place, and that we have a responsibility to testify to Christ's peace, we take a moment during worship to text the peace to someone outside of the building. I recognize that the term "Textology" doesn't appropriately use the "-ology" suffix, but it amused my Session when I said it off the cuff, so it stayed. 

**This is the space where I give what's usually called a "children's sermon". During this series, I'm using 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. 

****The invitation to the table is a modified version of one I wrote for the COVID pandemic; I wrote the first two paragraphs of the Great Thanksgiving and concluded the prayer with traditional language from the Book of Common Worship.

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