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Year C, Lent 1, 2019 – Provisions

March 8, 2019 / Molly Douthett / Lent

Hello, everyone! Welcome back or if this is your first time here, welcome! We’re on the Lenten road to Jerusalem. It’s time to turn our faces towards the logical conclusion of preaching the Good News to people who either receive it and rejoice or reject it. At this point in the Story, Jesus has experienced plenty of both, and he goes on, regardless. As we start the journey with him, we may be scrambling a bit to get ready; do we have everything we need, and will we be okay along the way? The passages for this Sunday reveal God’s provision for this trip. We hear about bountiful harvests, and wings of refuge. We are told salvation is near to our hearts and on our lips – top that, Triple A! And Jesus shows us that while there are forces that very much want the Word to fail, and will even use the word to make it happen, relying utterly on God will bring us through any desire to turn back or take an easier road. Are you ready to go? We’ve got all we need. Let’s do it.

[Here is a link to our show from three years ago: you may find some interesting ideas here, too!
Year C, Lent 1, 2016]

Smarts of the Week – [01:58]

This week, we are concentrating on MUSIC and NATURE smart, which works really well for some of the passages and requires some digging for others. As we’ve said before, this is the challenge of using Multiple Intelligence Theory. Don’t shy away from tugging at the text, because it can offer you some fantastic perspectives!

This Week’s Texts:

Luke 4:1-13 – [07:20]

Comparing the temptation story with Matthew, we see the second and third temptations are reversed. I think that is very interesting but outside the scope of what we are doing here. [“Don’t chase that rabbit now, Molly!” – Molly] As Luke presents the material, he shows the conflict between Jesus and the opponent beginning with basic human needs, extending to a desire for glory and power, and finishing with a test of loyalty and trust. I think the passage is operatic in scope and dialogue, and MUSIC can be inserted into it in really creative and captivating ways.

Being out in a remote area offers opportunities to explore NATURE smart. David thought of ways that humanity often tries to exert authority over nature, and because humanity is sometimes delusional about its own limits, failure happens. Check out the worksheet for some examples of this. Or, click the link below.

  • MUSIC smart – [08:05]
  • NATURE smart – [13:48]

Romans 10:8b-13 – [17:17]

The passage from Romans is about salvation, but where does NATURE fit into this? David thinks it may have a connection with endangered species – animals that do not have a voice and cannot speak the word that is closest to their hearts. The words of salvation must come from humans who see their peril and have a heart for them. Find a list of wildlife organizations at Charity Watch or support your local organizations that work to support our created cousins.

For MUSIC smart, put the blessing I wrote on the worksheet to a rhythm or music and use it to send your people out into the world, with a song of salvation on their lips, filling their hearts with peace.

  • MUSIC smart – [20:44]
    • “on your lips and in your heart” – is this like a love song?
  • NATURE smart – [18:07]

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 – [24:02]

To use this psalm of comfort as a way to lure Jesus away from his path reveals a depth of deviousness that is chilling. That Jesus was able to see through the attempted distortion and remain committed to God is – for me – the definition of commitment, maturity, and trust. Take the images of security and provision in the psalm and invite your congregation to look for them in their lives. Then, take the experiences and make a song of them for a MUSIC smart special effect.

Shelter and refuge are logical preparations if you are going to spend time out in NATURE, so we have some ways you can build shelter at the link below. The psalm also promises protection from some threatening apex predators, so how might you demonstrate that? David has an idea!

Deuteronomy 26:1-11 – [35:14]

The passage from Deuteronomy instructs the people to celebrate the harvest God provides with a worship service and songs of praise. The food itself is the connection to NATURE smart, but for our time, where does the food come from? Grocery stores! The next time you roam the aisles, really look at the products on the shelves. Think about where they came from; create a liturgy to give thanks to God for them being there and your capacity to purchase them. Ask God to protect and provide for the people who got this food to the shelves. Find ways to participate in hunger programs in your community and find out about food deserts and how you and your congregation might alleviate the challenges for people living in them. For a special effect, bring food into the worship space and offer it to God.

For MUSIC smart, find some hymns of thanksgiving praise to sing while you do the above! Also, encourage people to set their history – their own “traveling Aramaean” story – to poetry or a song. Do the same for your congregation’s history, and if you have a phrase or slogan that you use frequently, include it in a refrain or a litany that you all recite together as you present food to be blessed by God.

Image credit: Used with permission by The Digital Marketing Collaboration on Unsplash.

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