Palm Sunday: Waiting for the Stones

Jesus, I don’t know how much shouting of Hosanna will happen on Sunday.

I’m uncertain who will be there and how we will parade,

And Lord, you know, there will not be any singing. We miss it, God, but are trying to do right.

And though we may be sighing “Hosanna: Lord Save Us” we also know that we have to take some responsibility and help to save ourselves.

And, most days I doubt we actually want peace on earth, we are so bad at enacting and supporting true peace.

And Jesus is not going to come in guns blazing; Thank God!

What does the Lord require for Jesus to come? What humble entry can we cede to the Son of God?

What videos or drivethrus or palm crafts might come?

God, I confess this might be the week that there will be few shouts. We will be sticking well to your humility and simplicity this year.

So I will be listening to the stones.

For the truth cannot be stopped.

“Blessed is the one One who comes in the name of the Lord, Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven.”

Amen.

Hosanna.

Amen.

Feel free to share/use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Holy Week Prayers: https://katyandtheword.com/2021/03/24/holy-week-easter-prayers/

Life in Slow Motion: Lenten Prayer

God, I feel like everything is in slow motion. I can see what is coming, all of it, but it’s hard to react in a timely manner.

The bicycle of life is barely moving, and when we hit a bump. It hits hard.

When I drop the paper or burn my hand or yell at my child, it seems insurmountable.

Because, I’m going to be honest God, I didn’t have all that much momentum to begin with–I am so reliant on the treat of the day: the good meal, the sunlight, the 20 minutes to do nothing.

And, executive function is hard to get functional. And the tea caffeine can only do so much.

And God, I’m not ready for Lent, because I’ve been trudging through Lent all year. Living with death, remembering my mortality, feeling alone. God I’m don’t wanna.

I don’t want to do Lent.

But here we are, ready for the desert, for the trudge, for the bumps. Here we are ready to celebrate life and death, once again, with you.

With you.

God, this is a prayer from the longest and slowest Lent ever. Help me not to freeze or burn out. Help me to stay compassionate and caring. Send your Holy Spirit, because we here on Earth need it.

And I know we cannot just skip to Easter God.

So, I’m praying you send us what we need, even as we find ourselves in slow motion.

Amen.

More Pandemic Prayers

Lent Ideas with Children: Narrative Lectionary Luke

February 17th  

Ash Wednesday:

Children Ideas: Meditate on Dirt together (Ideally with dirt): What is dirt? 

Discuss God as creator and make clay/playdo people together, Bury the Alleluias: http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/burying-alleluia-for-lent.html

“Don’t think of it as dust. Just think of it as the dirt and dust of far-off lands blowing over here and settling on “Pig-Pen!” It staggers the imagination! He may be carrying the soil that was trod upon by Solomon or Nebuchadnezzar or Genghis Khan!”

February 21st: Journeying Past Our Neighbors

Children Ideas: Make Cards (maybe belated valentines) for the kid’s actual neighbors, Prayer for the neighborhood: Look at local news articles and practice praying for local people in the stories, Ask children to share stories of Good Samaritans they have seen/knows, Talk about Mr. Rogers: Look for the helpers (gather helper news stories to share), Read Little Chicken making the bread. 

February 28th Sustenance for the Journey

Children Ideas: Plant a Seed, talk about nourishment the seed needs, and talk about what we need spiritually to survive. Pack for a trip together (with pictures or a real suitcase or just talk through and make a list of what you need), Read The Carrot Seed or The Very Hungry Caterpillar

March 7th: The Possibility of Journeying Home

Children Ideas: Count 100 coins together and/or Hid a Coin and then find it. Play I Spy with My Little Eye: Talk about the importance of beings Seen. Read The Empty Chair, Read Where the Wild Things Are

March 14th Journeying with Ghosts

Children Ideas: Read a short version or act out a version of The Christmas Carol (3 ghosts + Ebenezer), Read But Not the Hippopotamus, Play Duck-Duck Goose/Talk about the importance of being included, Celebrate Communion Together: Talk about how the invisible church and we are celebrating with all of the saints that were and will be. Discuss Death/Funerals talk about why we mourn & celebrate both: Tell the Waterbugs & Dragonfly Story: https://www.archhospice.ca/dragonfly-story- 

March 21st: Journeying to Redemption

Children Ideas: Talk about Erasure of Sins with a Chalkboard, Read The Runaway Bunny, Sing Zaccheus was a wee little man, Talk about hospitality brainstorm how to be hospitable, Act out the Zaccheus story

March 28th: Journeying to JerusalemChildren Ideas: Color Palms, have a Parade, Make Hosanna Posters: Ask Jesus to save us (brainstorm what we need saving from), Make a Palm cross, Tell the Warm Fuzzy Story (with props if you can find cotton balls and prickly plants): https://reenchantements.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/warm-fuzzy-tale.pdf talk about how the crowds could be for Jesus and then against him on Friday

Mandy Thursday: 

Children Ideas: Celebrate Communion Together, Wash Each Other’s Feet, Read Bear Feels Sick or How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends, and Do Unto Otters

Good Friday

Children Ideas: Write sins out/Draw them and nail them to a cross, Read Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  

Holy Saturday

Talk about waiting, Read The Napping House, Waiting by Henke, Practice a breath prayer (breathing in and out slowly In: Jesus Christ out: loves me) for 12 breaths

Easter Sunday

Tell a short version of The Velveteen Rabbit, God Gave Us Easter, or a picture book of the Easter Story, Have an Alleluia Parade. Tell the Easter Joke: What did Jesus say when he came out of the Tomb? Ta-Da!!! Discuss why the joke is funny. Display a cross that had sins nailed into it empty of the nails: discuss,

More Lent Resources https://katyandtheword.com/2021/01/05/narrative-lectionary-lent-luke/

Not I, Lord

Jesus, how did it feel when you predicted your death, and the disciples said this can never happen?

How about at the table, when you were eating and drinking with your beloved, and warned that betrayal and denial would follow and each disciples said, “Not I Lord.” It can’t be me.

God, how are we so willfully blind? To the racism that is etched into our very DNA, to the violence that happens against school children who can’t pay for lunch.

How is it that we can’t believe that violence is coming… until it does. Storming the capital with Nazi flags of hate and signs that somehow proclaim “Jesus Saves.”

And we disarm people of color, and hide our children under their desks, but refuse to see violence as systematic and problematic.

How is such denial possible?

Did Jesus have a part of him that was in denial, that his people would turn on him…until the disciples fell asleep at the wheel, and then fell asleep again, and again.

Was he holding out hope that Judas would change his mind?

We feel betrayed, but the evil was there all along, like Herod.

Lead us not into temptation to say “this is not America”

America was always this way: violent and racist and ignorant, but pray for us God, because we keep hoping and proclaiming, like the disciples “Not I Lord.”

Open our mouths to say “this is not God, this is not foreordained” help us to take the responsibility that is needed to make the change.

It’s an Epiphany: A Realization

It’s an Apocalypse: An Unveiling that changes all of life.

Please let this be Apocryphal, please let this be an Epiphany.

Help me to shut my mouth when I’m tempted to say “Not I, Lord” or “Not All of Us” or “Everything Will Turn Out Okay.”

Chafe my hands into the work that needs to be done, enfold my mind with the empathy to Listen, Prod my feet to to do the walking.

Set me to work God, set me to do the work:

To protect the vulnerable, to tell the truth, to face the hatred, to love and serve

and to serve and to love.

Change my words to say “Here I am, Lord” I pray.

Amen

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Narrative Lectionary Lent: Luke

Finding the Way to Jerusalem; or Getting Lost

During this journey to Jerusalem, Jesus practices the grace that is found within his death and resurrection, twice. First he is rejected by Samaria, the shorter way to Jerusalem (Lent 1) and then he reclaims them as his neighbor (Lent 2), he reclaims them even as he journeys onward. Then we get los (and found), die and see ghost, and then, finally are reclaimed and found with Zaccheus. Journeying to Jerusalem is an exercise in getting lost, dying and resurrecting together.

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta 

Lent Kit (most items can be found at home)

Ashes to Ashes: Lent/Ash Weds Prayer

Ash Wednesday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 1: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 2: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 3: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer , Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 4: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 5: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Lent 6: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Mandy Thursday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Communion Worship Bulletin juxtaposing Psalm 23, Video of Topical Prayer

Good Friday: Worship Bulletin juxtaposing The Lord’s Prayer

Easter Sunday: Bulletin Prayers & Hymn/Taize Suggestions, Topical Prayer, Video of Topical Prayer

Children Ideas

Lenten Devotional Calendar: Feel free to email for doc version and link for google calendar (Katyandtheword at gmail)

Video Collection of Topical Prayers

Life in Slow Motion: A Lenten Prayer

Additional Holy Week Prayers

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta 

If you need a doc version of all of this for easier formatting, email me at katyandtheword at gmail with the topic line “Lent” and I will send you a copy

If you appreciate my work and want to support me, please contribute to my Doctorate in Divinity in Creative Writing. I have a stretch goal of $2500 by June. and am more than 80% there! Any Amount is appreciated, and I am so thankful where they have gotten me so far!

Not planned to give up this much for Lent

Image may contain: ‎possible text that says '‎る Honestly hadn't 00 planned on giving up quite this much for Lent. ת‎'‎

God, I saw someone say they weren’t ready to give quite so much up for Lent, and it’s true. I’m not ready to give up friends and seeing grandparents, I’m not ready to give up babysitting and going out to eat, and I’m definitely not ready to give up school for my kiddos, and we will surely miss church on Sunday. More than giving up is what I’m taking on. I’m taking on the health of my entire community, I’m learning to appreciate how teachers work, teach, grade and keep everyone (including themselves) for day on end, I’m relearning the art of boredom. I’m figuring out how a new structures and rhythms of schedule and living together. I’m finding ways to be connectional in new (and old) ways. I’m finding time: time to walk and prioritize, time to wonder at morality, time to care. It’s not the Lent I had planned, but it’s the one I have been given. Lord help me to not give up for Lent I pray, give me the resources, relationships and reality checks I need to carry on, and continue to walk with me I pray.

Amen.

 

Thanks for the statement Andy Crouch

 

“Señor, (escuché) a alguien decir que no estaba listo para renunciar a tanto esta cuaresma. Pero así es. No estoy lista para dejar a mis amistades o dejar de ver a los abuelos. No estoy lista para dejar la niñera o el salir a cenar. Y definitivamente no estoy lista para dejar la escuela de mis nenes, y definitivamente me hará falta la iglesia los domingos.

“Más de lo que dejo, es lo que tomo. Estoy tomando la responsabilidad por la salud de mi comunidad entera. Estoy aprendiendo a apreciar como las maestras y los maestros trabajan, enseñan, corrigen y mantienen a todos (incluyéndose) día a día. Estoy aprendiendo de nuevo el arte del aburrimiento. Estoy descifrando nuevas estructuras y ritmos de calendario y vida juntos. Estoy aprendiendo las nuevas (y viejas) maneras de ser conexional. Estoy encontrando tiempo: tiempo para caminar y priorizar, tiempo para cuestionar la moral, tiempo para cuidar (y preocupar).

“Esta no es la cuaresma que tenía planificada, pero es la que se me ha dado. Señor, te ruego me ayudes a no darme por vencida en esta cuaresma. Dame los recursos, las relaciones, los baldazos de realidad que necesite para continuar adelante. Camina conmigo, te ruego. Amen”.

– por la Rvda. Katy Stenta

Thank you my colleague Rev. Amaury Tañón-Santos for the translation

More Prayers & Resources for the Pandemic

Parable of the Tenants Lent Seeds of Prayer, Narrative Lectionary

Mark 12:1-12 [13-17]

Psalm 86: 8-13

Image result for God is always on time

Call to Worship

Lord you call to all people to serve

From the tiny babies, to the last minute workers

You welcome all into the kingdom

Let us praise God!

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that we do not understand your upsidedown world of grace. How can you let everyone in? How can we let everyone in? Help us to give you the power and the glory forever we pray.

Prayer of Confession: Lord please stoop down and whisper in my ear, for I confess I am needy, be gracious to me. I am crying for you all the day long, listen to my prayer. Comfort me I pray.

Prayer of Confession: Lord, my heart is divided. Reverence of you is out of reach. I have forgotten your ways. Teach me so I might walk in your truth I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: The Lord is good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call out to God. We can know the good news In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: Lord please gladden the soul of your servant. I lift up my soul. In the day of trouble I call on you, for you will answer. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth. Give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

Communion Prayer: Lord, you stooped kneeling into the fully human Jesus, as Christ himself, speaking our language, eating our food, teaching our children. And when the world seemed to be ending and Jesus was betrayed and again when he ascended into heaven he promised to send his Holy Spirit to be present among us, blessing us, inspiring us and encouraging us. Send that Holy Spirit here today so we can taste and see your way we pray. Amen

With Children: Play Mother May I (Let everyone win), Have a Feast/Party: Let everyone take part in waves, Do a puzzle note how it doesn’t matter what order the pieces come as long as they are all there; or create a puzzle or color different pieces of the same picture and put them together

Hymns: Jesus the Very Thought of Thee, Come Down O Love Divine, Open My Eyes that I May See, Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine, Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, If I Had a Thousand Tongues to Sing

For more Lent Resources on Mark

Bartimaeus Healed Lent Seeds of Prayer Narrative Lectionary

Mark 10:32-52

Psalm 34:11-14

A Full Bulletin by Rev. Dr. Barbara Hedges-Goettl

Call to Worship:

I will bless the Lord at all times

I will praise God’s Holy Name

Let the humble hear and be glad

O magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt God’s name together!

Call to Worship:

The Lord is near the brokenhearted

God saves those who feel crushed in spirit!

Remember God will save every last person who calls out, and the Last shall be First.

Let us Praise God, full of grace.

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: Let us all depart from evil! Remember do good, seek peace and pursue it.

Prayer of Confession: In a world of buried Praises, we confess that we still hesitate to cry out Hosanna: save us! Why do we hesitate to call on you. Only you know oh God. Open our mouths up with prayers whether they are full of praise or full of anguish. Help us to confess our full selves to you we pray. Hosanna Lord!

Communion Prayer: God thank you so much for this meal and this communion with one another and you. You feed us with your good and your love, indeed with your very essence so we are able to carry on in this world. Feed us with the strength of your Holy Spirit, bless us in whatever order you wish, teach us to serve now and always we pray.

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that we argue about who gets to sit next to you, not able to hear that whenever you come to earth you will be found on your knees serving. Teach us to serve, so we might find our place beside you we pray.

Assurance of Pardon: The Lord redeems the life of all who serve God, none who take refuge will be condemned. Hear the Great News: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Hymns: He is King of Kings, Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God, Jesus Jesu Fill Us With Your Love, Lift High the Cross, Called to Partners in Christ’s Service, Amazing Grace

With Children: Build with Blocks (talk about the construction and what will happen is the bottom block is taken out), Create a Serving Calendar of one thing to do every week of Lent, draw invisible hearts with white crayons: Have the children watercolor to reveal God’s Love.

For more Lent Resources on Mark

 

Lent Seeds of Prayer for Narrative Lectionary Mark

 

Lent: Deconstructing Our Temples 

March 1st  First Last & Last First: Mark 10:17-31& Psalm 19:7-10 Deconstructing Order

March 8th Bartimaeus Healed: Mark 10:32-52 &Psalm 34:11-14 Deconstructing Power

March 15th Parable of the Tenants/Taxes and Caesar: Mark 12:1-12 [13-17] & Psalm 86:8-13 Deconstructing Time/Value/Work

March 22 Great Commandment: Mark 12:28-44 & Psalm 89:1-4 Deconstructing Rules

March 29 End of the Age: Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 & Psalm 102:12-17 Deconstructing Time

Holy Week: Rebuilding the Temple

April 5 Triumphal Entry/Anointing at Bethany/Palm Sunday: Mark 11:1-11; 14:3-9 & Psalm 118:25-29

April 9 Maundy Thursday/Lord’s Supper/Prayer in Gethsemane: Mark 14:22-42 & Psalm 116:12-19

April 10 Good Friday/Crucifixion: Mark 15:16-39 & Psalm 22:1-2, 14-21

April 12 Easter Sunday/Resurrection: Mark 16:1-8 & Psalm 118:21-27

Ash Wednesday Narrative Lectionary based on Mark 9:30-37 Psalm 32:1-5

Jesus went with the disciples teaching them, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.”

And the Disciples Kept silent.

Prayer of Confession: Lord we confess that we do not understand, fully, why it is you had to die. We do not understand why you were betrayed by human hands, and we do not understand how it is you rose again. But we do know while we kept silent our bodies wasted away and we groaned all day long.

Taize Option: Lord here my Prayer, Hymn Option: What Wondrous Love is This v. 1

Help us to live with our lacks and to lean into why you came: to teach, to heal, to die and to forgive our sins. Help us live fully with who we are.
(Write down what Jesus has taught you, who you are, what you want to hang onto)

Taize Option: Bless the Lord My Soul Hymn Option: What Wondrous Love is This v 2.

And let us once again confess our full selves to you so they may once again be forgiven.

Writing down Confession of sin on another piece of paper

Taize Option: Jesus Remember Me Hymn Option: What Wondrous Love is This v. 3
(Collect to trash, burn, rip up)

Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
   whose sin is covered. 
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
   and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 
    Selah
While I kept silence, my body wasted away
   through my groaning all day long. 
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
 my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Selah 

Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
   and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’,
 and you forgave the guilt of my sin.

 Selah

Let us know the truth, as short and imperfect as life is. Remember that you are always and forgiven. Thanks be to God.
Holy Communion

The Lord’s Prayer

Imposition of Ashes

Blessing