Sunday, April 10, 2022

Lukan Lessons and Carols for Lent: Palm Sunday (April 10, 2022)

(This is the seventh 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, 4, & 5 can be found herehereherehere, 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 17:20-24)
Leader: People say, “Look there!” or “Look here!” but we cannot see God’s kingdom.
People: The signs of God’s kingdom are not easy to notice.
Leader: We long for the days of the Human One.
People: Pay attention, faithful ones! God’s kingdom is already in your midst!
Leader: The Lord be with you!
People: And also with you!
Leader: Let us worship the Lord.

Call to Confession (based on Luke 17:3-4)
Leader: Jesus tells us that even if someone sins against us seven times in one day, but returns seven times saying, “I am changing my ways,” we must forgive them. God asks no more of us than God is willing to offer themself. If we confess our sin and commit to changing our hearts and lives, then we know God will forgive us.

Confession of Sin (based on Luke 18:9-41)
People: Merciful God, we consider ourselves holy people, but all too often, our actions betray our true nature. We give thanks for our own righteousness, instead of admitting our need for mercy and grace. We cry, “let the little children come,” but scold them for their vision of a Church outside of our comfort zone. We eagerly embrace your Law when it suits us, but we cannot fathom a faith that requires us to surrender our earthly treasures. We close our ears to the parts of your Word that are most difficult to hear. Forgive us. Help us to change our hearts and lives so that we might follow you wherever you lead. Lord, we want to see you. In your mercy, hear our prayer… [Silent prayers of personal forgiveness]

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Luke 18:1-8)
Leader: Even a judge who neither fears God nor respects people will provide justice for a stubborn widow who continues to ask for it. How much more, then, will God provide for a people of continual prayer? Having asked for mercy, we can be assured that God’s grace is poured out upon us in abundance. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven! Thanks be to God!

In Other Words…*

Lessons & Carols**
Zacchaeus:                                                      Luke 19:1-10
The Parable of the Ten Minas:                Luke 19:11-27
Hymn GTG #708:                         “We Give Thee but Thine Own” [vv. 1 & 2]

Entry to Jerusalem:                                     Luke 19:28-44
Jesus in the Temple:                                   Luke 19:45-48
Hymn GTG #196:                           “All Glory, Laud, and Honor” [vv. 1 & 2]
[Place your shirts in the aisle during this hymn if you haven’t done so already]***

Jesus’ Authority:                                             Luke 20:1-8
The Parable of the Vineyard:                     Luke 20:9-18
Give to Caesar…:                                          Luke 20:19-26
Hymn GTG #361:                       “O Christ, the Great Foundation” [vv. 1 & 3]

Marriage & Resurrection:                         Luke 20:27-47
The Widow’s Mite:                                         Luke 21:14
Hymn GTG #711:                                     “Lord of All Good” [vv. 1 & 3]

Things to Come:                                            Luke 21:5-37

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

*Hymn GTG #462, “I Love to Tell the Story” [v. 3]
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it, like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
‘Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
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. 

***Since Luke's gospel doesn't mention palms, I invited the congregation to bring shirts to lay in the aisle. Anything left behind after worship was washed and donated. (Don't worry; we also had palms.)

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