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3rd Sunday of Lent — Family faith formation for March 20, 2022

Photo by Taylor R on Unsplash

NOTE: During the season of Lent you may want to have the following items available for your gathering space: a candle and matches, a cup of water, a roll or a piece of bread, a cut out of a heart, a cross and a piece of purple cloth.

Welcome

Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy as a way to begin your time of learning together.

One: This is the season of Lent, 40 days of remembering and prayer, worship, and thinking deeply on the ways we can

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus   

One: He came as a baby to bring light to the world and how us how to

(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus   

One: The Bible tells the story of the way he called disciples when he was on earth and how he still calls disciples today who will

(Place an open bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus

One: When people were hungry, he gave them food. When people were thirsty, he gave them water. When people needed love, he loved them — even those the world thought were unlovable and called us to do the same as we  

(Place the bread, the cup of water and the heart in your gathering place.)

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus  

One: When it became obvious that we still had trouble being faithful, he made his way to Jerusalem and to the cross so that through his grace we would be able to 

(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place)

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus

One: And so, each year, for the 40 days leading to Easter we remember what Christ did for us, pray for forgiveness for our unfaithfulness, worship the God who loved us enough send us the Son and think deeply on how we can

(Drape the cross with the purple cloth)

All: Follow in the ways of Jesus

One: We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading   

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something – a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer.

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world…[invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier]. We bring our prayers to you, prayers for…[invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Psalm 63:1-8 (NRSVCEB)

Connecting with Scripture               

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

For the second reading, take in the Scripture using this clip.

Connecting through story

Watch this clip from Steve Hartman’s “On the Road”

  • What memory and feeling were so deep even age and Alzheimer’s could not erase it?
  • What was the outward express of Melvyn’s love for Doris?
  • What role did members of the community play in Melvyn’s devotion to Doris?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue

  • What do you think it means to thirst for God?
  • Where do we see God’s glory and power?
  • When we see God’s glory and power, when we experience God’s love, what feelings/thoughts/actions does it evoke and compel?
  • What are the ways in which the psalmist expresses personal devotion to God?
  • In what ways does the psalmist participate in communal worship and praise of God?
  • Why does the psalmist desire to be close to God in personal devotions and communal worship?
  • In what ways does this psalm invite us into the same pattern of praise and devotion?
  • How do you seek God?
  • In what ways is your thirst for God quenched?
  • How do you praise and worship God?
  • In what ways do you show your desire and commitment to God?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion

  • This psalm is a public proclamation of a personal commitment to love, praise and worship God in everything moment and circumstance of life.
  • It is important to note that while this affirmation is deeply personal, it is not individualistic. The psalmist is a part of a community and the psalm itself is a part of a community of faith’s body of sacred literature.
  • Like worship, the psalm is both personal and communal but never individualistic.
  • Worship is always communal – God calls God’s people to worship. We may engage in personal or solitary devotions but worship by its very nature is an act of communal engagement.
  • In this psalm, the pattern of the Christian life is made known in the interplay between personal devotion and communal worship.
  • The poetry of this psalm shows love for God so deeply ingrained it is as if it is woven into every fabric of the body and soul. It is as essential and life-sustaining as breathing and as necessary as drinking water.
  • It is a connection to God so profound it transcends life, death and all that comes in between.

This psalm is a personal proclamation and commitment to God made public through its inclusion in the Bible. Rewrite this psalm in your own and post it in your home someplace where you and your family can see it and be reminded to always praise and love God.

Prayer

Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

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