Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Liturgy: Lent 1 Lessons and Carols, Mark 2:1-4:34 (February 18, 2024)

    *You are welcome to use or adapt any of my resources for free, but I ask that you provide proper citation AND comment on this post to let me know.*

Additional Hymns:

Hymn GTG #738, “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #542, “God Be with You Till We Meet Again”

Call to Worship (based on Mark 3:13-15)

Leader: Jesus went up on a mountain and called those he wanted, and they came to him.
People: We come to you, O Christ!
Leader: He appointed them and sent them out to preach.
People: We accept your charge, O Christ!
Leader: Let us proclaim the Good News in the name of the Human One.
People: Let us worship the Son of God!

Call to Confession (based on Mark 3:5)

Leader: Jesus is deeply grieved by our unyielding hearts. But when we turn to him in humility and penitence, his grief turns to joy at our repentance. Let us confess our sins before the one who heals bodies and spirits.

Popcorn Prayer of Confession (based on Mark 4:14-20)

You are invited to speak a word or short phrase that describes a personal or collective sin of which you repent and seek forgiveness.

When the gathered community is finished sharing, we pray together:

People: O Divine Sower, you have scattered the Word in our lives and on our hearts, but we do not hear it. Or we hear it, but do not let it take root. Or we let it take root, but our earthly desires choke it. Help us to live as good soil, embracing your Word and bearing its fruit in both word and deed. In your mercy, hear our prayers… (Silent prayers of personal confession)

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Mark 2:9)

Leader: Which is easier, to say to a paralyzed person, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up, take your bed, and walk”? Friends, we worship a God who can do all of this, and so much more! Hear the Good News: In Christ Jesus, we are forgiven!
People: Thanks be to God!

Be Still and Know… (Prayer Stones)

Every week during Lent, we’ll be trying out a different way of experiencing God, things to help us “be still” in God’s presence. 
  • Hopefully you picked up a stone on your way into worship
    • If you didn’t, you can take a moment to grab one now
    • Maybe someone can help pass them out? 
  • [Once everyone has one] take a moment to get to know your stone
    • What does it feel like?
      • Big? Small
      • Rough? Smooth?
      • Cool? Warm?
      • Round? Irregular? 
    • Every stone is different, just like every prayer
  • During worship, as you reflect on the scripture readings, hymns, and the feelings they evoke in you, move the stone in your hand
    • Imagine transferring your thoughts, feelings, and prayers into the stone
    • As if you could just give them all to God by handing God your stone. 
  • After worship, you have a choice:
    • Take the stone with you
      • You can keep it nearby (in your pocket or your desk, for example) as a reminder to pray
      • You can leave it somewhere that’s meaningful to you
    • Leave it in the cairn (pile of stones) next to the steps outside. 
      • Add the power of your prayer to the power of others’ prayers
  • When you see a stone in everyday life, use it as a reminder to pray
    • You can add your “outside” stone to the cairn, too!


Readings are done by three people: one representing Jesus, one representing Jesus' supporters, and one representing Jesus' opponents. They each wear a white, green, or red stole, respectively, to help clarify their roles. 

Jesus Forgives, Heals, & Eats:                 Mark 2:1-17
Hymn GTG #793,                “O Christ, the Healer” [vv. 1, 3, & 5]

Jesus Makes Enemies:                          Mark 2:18-3:6
Hymn GTG #157 ,        “I Danced in the Morning” [vv. 1 & 2]

Jesus Appoints the Apostles:                  Mark 3:7-19
Hymn GTG #69,              “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” [vv. 1 & 3]

A Kingdom Divided:                               Mark 3:20-35
Hymn GTG #736,         “I Want to Be as Close to You” [All Verses]

The Parable of the Seeds:                      Mark 4:1-20
Hymn GTG #171,      “A Sower Came from Ancient Hills” [vv. 1 & 4]

What God’s Kingdom Is Like:                 Mark 4:21-34

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

Hymn GTG #414, “Be Still and Know” [3x total – you are welcome to sing in a round!]

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