Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Liturgy: Lent 3 Lessons and Carols, Mark 6:30-8:21 (March 3, 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 #819, “Be Still, My Soul"
Hymn GTG #281, “Holy Spirit Come to Us”
Hymn GTG #498, “Loaves Were Broken, Words Were Spoken”

Call to Worship (based on Mark 6:30-31)

Leader: The apostles began their ministry long before the events of Easter morning,
People: Yet there is still so much left to do.
Leader: Jesus told his friends, “Come by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.”
People: We, too, are called to find moments of peace in the midst of our busyness.
Leader: Be still, and sense God in this place.
People: We will be still, and rest in Christ’s presence.

Call to Confession (based on Mark 6:52, 7:32-35)

Leader: Like the disciples and despite our best intentions, we resist God ways because our minds are closed. But with a single word, Jesus can open us up and release us from sin’s grasp. Let us, then, seek this healing word through confession.

Popcorn Prayer of Confession (based on Mark 7:6-7)

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: Merciful Lord, we confess that we are hypocrites. We honor you with our lips, but our hearts are far away from you. We grieve the times when our worship is empty because we teach instructions that are human words, rather than follow your commandment to love our neighbor as ourself. Forgive us, we humbly pray, and give us holy words of love and reconciliation to share in your name. In your mercy, hear our prayers… (Silent prayers of personal confession)

Declaration of Forgiveness (based on Mark 6:41-43)

Leader: God’s grace is bountiful and without limit. Even as we jealously guard what little we think we have, God breaks it apart and pours out enough to fill ALL hearts, with plenty more besides! Hear the good news: In Christ’s name, we are forgiven!
People: Thanks be to God!

Be Still and Know… (Visio Divina)

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. 
  • We often use words or texts in our spiritual practices
    • As “people of the book”, it’s a familiar way for us to encounter God
    • But sometimes, it’s good to look for God in other places
  • “Visio Divina” means “Divine Seeing” or “Sacred Seeing”
    • It’s a deliberate, structured way to encounter God and guide our prayer through art and our sense of sight
    • You can use ANY image – not just religious art
  • There are 4 movements in Visio Divina (they can flow into one another):
    • Gazing (first impressions)
      • “Read” the image
      • Note the “facts” of the image: colors, style, figures, scenery, etc.
    • Reflecting (deeper look)
      • Note the abstract aspects of the image: movement, relationships, story, etc.
      • Let your mind “wander” and engage your imagination: where do you see yourself in the image? What deeper meaning do you sense?
    • Responding (prayer)
      • Does this image bring to mind a person or situation that needs prayer? 
    • Resting (be still)
      • Return to your first impressions, but let them be what they are without trying to figure anything out.
  • Each of today’s readings will be accompanied by a projected image
    • Feel free to try out Visio Divina during the readings and hymns
    • If you find that focusing on the image distracts you too much from the reading or vice versa, I will post the slideshow following worship.
[All images were generated with AI]


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. 

The First Feeding: Mark 6:30-44
Hymn GTG #312, “Take Us As We Are, O God” [vv. 1, 3 & 4]

Jesus Walks on Water: Mark 6:45-56
Hymn GTG #184, “Calm to the Waves” [Repeat 2x total]

Eating with Unclean Hands: Mark 7:1-23
Hymn GTG #429, “As a Chalice Cast of Gold” [vv. 1 & 2]

Two More Healings: Mark 7:24-37
Hymn GTG #610, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” [vv. 1, 3 & 5]

The Yeast of the Pharisees: Mark 8:1-21

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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