2018 Lent Worship Series “Listen”
Look, I’ll pour out my spirit on you. I’ll reveal my words to you.” – Wisdom from Proverbs 1:23
Have you ever misplaced your phone – which is on vibrate, of course – and then asked someone to call it? We get really still and really quiet. Our ears perk up in all directions in order to be ready to hear that little buzz. We are quieting down and on high alert all at the same time.
This Lent we will quiet things down and heighten our attention to the “still, small voice” of God and our own authentic self. Listening through prayer, as well as meditation on scripture, is an ancient Lenten practice. Come and rest, come and listen.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 7:30pm
Ash Wednesday Worship Service with Imposition of Ashes
We will begin our Lenten Worship Serices with “Finding Your Life: Listening Deeply”
As we prepare for our 40-day journey of Lent, we “turn around” (the root meaning of the word repent) from the distractions of daily noise and focus our attention on listening in a deeper way. Writer Parker Palmer suggests we must listen “to what our life is telling us”– in other words, to listen to the deep wisdom God gave to us as a birthright, connecting to God’s purpose once again.
Scriptures: Luke 1:9-15
Sunday, February 18, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
First Sunday in Lent
“Finding Your Cave: Listening Spaces”
Sometimes we just need to get away in order to hear from that “still, small voice” within. This quiet voice is an attribute of the Holy Living God, as Elijah found out in a cave where he expected to experience God in big wind and earthquake and fire. What is your “cave” equivalent? What place (a park, a path, a rocking chair, a shoreline) and practice (walking, journaling, reading, making art) helps you get quiet enough for long enough so you can hear past the chaos and into the depths of your life?
Scriptures: Mark 1:9-15; 1 Kings 19:9-16
Sunday, February 25, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
Second Sunday in Lent
“Finding Your Breath: Listening to our Bodies”
Our sacred texts connect the breath of God with our own aliveness–God blew breath into us at creation and we continue to breathe all of creation in and out of our bodies constantly. The early church also believed that breath and Spirit were one in the same. How might the meditative practice of paying attention to our breath be, in and of itself, a prayer of connection to God? When we embrace our bodies as the holy vessel of God, we become even more our True Selves–which has been there all along.
Scriptures: Romans 8:26-30, 38-39
Sunday, March 4, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
Third Sunday in Lent
“Finding a Word: Listening to the Texts”
The Wisdom tradition within Christianity invites us to love knowledge, especially the self-knowledge that comes from examining ourselves in relationship to the liberating Word of God. Lectio divina (“divine reading”) is an ancient tradition of mixing the reading of scripture with prayer and meditation. Rather than an analytical approach to the words of scripture, it is a way for the words to simply be present and live in us. What will we hear when we let go of what it all is “supposed to” mean and and simply let it reside within us?
Scriptures: Proverbs 1:20-23
Sunday, March 11, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
Fourth Sunday in Lent
“Finding Your Power: Listening for Healing”
Prayer as a spiritual practice may come easily for you and maybe it doesn’t. Even the most devout among us has doubts about prayer’s power at times. What is it? How does it work? This week we will consider that the mechanics of what happens in prayer is not as important as that we do it. Because whether or not the outcome for ourselves or others is an actual healing, the very act of being entangled with God and with others through prayer has healing and power-bestowing benefits.
Scriptures: Mark 5:24-34
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
Fifth Sunday in Lent
“Finding Your Mystic: Listening Beyond the Voices”
We often have a “cast of characters” living inside our heads that love to carry on endless conversations–each from their own perspective. The chatter of our minds can sometimes keep us from a deeper listening and it is often difficult to decipher exactly what constitutes a mystical connection to God. Getting our True Self in the chairperson’s seat in the committee meeting does not mean ignoring those voices of pessimism, people-pleasing or accusation, but instead listening intently to them and not letting them bully us into action based on fear. Letting them in and letting them go is the prayer of the mystic within.
Scriptures: Romans 12:2-12
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 8:45am and 10:00am
Palm / Passion Sunday
“Finding Your Purpose: Listening to Your Heart”
Jesus’ prayer life was described most often in the scriptures as something he did “away” from the crowds or disciples. And as we come to the last week of this Lent journey, we have experienced the blessings of turning away from the noise of the world in order to turn inward to hear that “still, small voice” of God and finding our own voice of wisdom there as well. This Sunday begins the story of the end of Jesus’ human life and the scripture contains one of the rare examples of how Jesus prayed. It was honest, it was gut-wrenching, and it finally was a letting-go of expectations about life and a turn toward the acceptance that gives the courage to move onward.
Scriptures: Matthew 26:36-46