Lenten Worship Series 2018

Holy Vessels

“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7


Ash Wednesday begins next week, and suddenly we will find ourselves in the season of Lent, the time of year when the cold of winter turns to the warmth of spring.  The minutes of sunlight are increasing every day, the time of darkness lessening.  The air around us will warm, the earth eager to begin its work of restoration, wholeness and bearing fruit. 


Our worship series this Lent is titled “Holy Vessels.”  Each one of us has been created holy by God’s hands and lovely in God’s eyes.  Through the trials and challenges of life, our vessel can become cracked, broken, even shattered into pieces.  We try to mend ourselves, glue the pieces back together, sometimes with success, but often still feeling wounded and cracked.  Our Lenten journey will invite us to look within, to let the light of God’s truth shine into our souls, into the places that are wounded and frightened, broken and weary.  Our vessel can become even more beautiful, even more holy because of our God, who will piece us back together with love and grace, compassion and mercy.

This Lent, I invite you to choose a vessel from your home — a vase, a bowl, a candleholder, perhaps a vessel for cooking utensils or carpentry tools, a vessel for artist’s brushes or writing instruments— something that can become a focal point as you pray and reflect upon the places within you that need to be mended and tended.  Bring your vessel, if you choose, to place on or near the altar on Sunday mornings, a tangible expression of your need for God to make you whole.

The theme song for Lent, which we will sing each week, is “Make Us Holy, Make Us Whole.”  Here is the chorus for you to learn and embrace:

In your love, make us whole.  May we rest in your compassion.

Calm the lost, weary soul in the warmth of your love.

May your peace fill our hearts.  May we know the love of Jesus.

By your grace, you console.  Make us holy, make us whole.

May your vessel be restored and made more lovely this Lent as we journey together to the cross.  I wish for you a holy Lent.

Pastor Nancy

February 14:  Ash Wednesday — “Shattered”

7:00 am imposition of ashes in the Chapel

7:00 pm Taizé service in the Worship Center with imposition of ashes

February 18:  First Sunday in Lent — “Treasure”              

We are created beautiful daughters and sons, fashioned and treasured by God.  When pain or sorrow comes, we can trust that there is healing in the one who loves us and calls us beloved.

February 25:  Second Sunday in Lent — “Safekeeping” 

Everyday we are to praise God for never forsaking us.  We pray that this Lenten journey will become a time of healing — on personal, communal and global levels — and we pray that the church will be the Body of Christ, a place of “safekeeping,” a safe space for all.

March 4:  Third Sunday in Lent:  “Stories” 

Today we acknowledge the power of truth-telling: of claiming and telling our own story as a path to healing.  What becomes clear for us as we dare to claim our stories and when our brokenness is met with love and grace?

March 11:  Fourth Sunday in Lent — “Different Pictures”

This Sunday we celebrate that what sometimes feels “stained” can become “stained glass” and, together with the gift of community, we can create new and different pictures of our lives — different than the ones drawn for us or imprinted upon us without our permission.  What is the whole picture of ourselves that we can claim?  What stereotypes do we have of others that rob of us the image of God in them — their worth as holy vessels?

March 18:  Fifth Sunday in Lent — “Restoration”

How do we make something beautiful out of the process of healing and the difficult work of accountability and binding together that which has been torn apart?  How do we claim the promises of God for reconciliation and restoration, and make signs of that promise to each other?

March 25:  Palm/Passion Sunday

Both services will include scripture readings, songs and hymns as we follow Jesus to the cross.