Lent: Narrative Lectionary, From Lament to Hope

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From Lament to Hope 

Ash Weds: Full Service

March 2

The Good Shepherd: Ashes A Prayer

500,000 People: Ashes

John 10:1-18

Psalm 23

March 6

Jesus Raises Lazarus: Jesus Wept, Lament

John 11:1-44

Psalm 104:27-30

March 13

Jesus Washes Feet

John 13:1-17

Psalm 51:7-12

March 20

Peter’s Denial: Lament and Denial

John 18:12-27

Psalm 17:1-7

March 27

Jesus and Pilate 

John 18:28-40

Psalm 145:10-13

April 3

Jesus Condemned

John 19:1-16a

Psalm 146

April 10

The Crucified Messiah: Sermon Ideas, Pile of Good Things

John 12:12-27

Psalm 24

April 14

Maundy Thursday

Jesus Last Words: An in Person, Virtual or Stations Worship Service

John 19:23-30

Psalm 26:3

Betrayed: A Prayer for the Brokenhearted

April 15

Good Friday Worship: Burying Jesus, An In Person or Virtual Worship Service Based on the texts

Good Friday: Good Friday Worship Juxtaposing Communion & Lord’s Prayer

Good Friday: John Tenebrae

Jesus the Passover Lamb

John 19:31-42

Psalm 31:9-18

April 17th 

Resurrection: Hope Seeing Resurrected Jesus

John 20:18

Psalm 118:21-29

April 24 


Sermon Ideas:

But Thomas

Brave Thomas

John 20:19-31

Psalm 145:13-21

If you like my work, please contribute to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. I’m 75% the way there this year!

Psalm 23 Week 1

The Message Psalm 23

Laughing Bird (Australian) Psalm 23

The Lord is my Grandma

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 95:6-7)

Come, let us worship and bow down

Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture  

We are the sheep of God’s hand, come Let us Praise God!

Prayer of Confession: (unison) God I confess that sometimes I do not want to be a sheep. Sometimes it is hard for me to take direction, and I do not know if it is unwillingness, or ignorance or simply weariness that stands in my way. And yet you walk beside me, to comfort and protect me. Help me to accept you as my shepherd I pray. Amen (Silent Confession) Amen

Assurance of Pardon: Hear the good news, God promises to restore us, know the truth in your hearts: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1st Scripture Reading Isaiah 40:29-31

2nd Scripture Reading                                     Psalm 23:1-3

Prayer of Dedication: God you know we entered here thirsty. Send the Holy Spirit out with us, to shepherd us, comfort us, and to quench us. Send us into the world refreshed by your Word and Holy Spirit we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: Create in me a Clean Heart, There is a a Balm in Gilead, Spirit of the Living God, Any version of Psalm 23

Psalm 23 Series

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

Narrative Lectionary Bulletin & Sermon Advent 4 Rev. Dr Barb Hedges-Goettl

PreludeBreath of Heaven             Amy Grant 

Opening Prayer

Lord, you bring glad tidings to the poor. Let us hear.

You heal the brokenhearted. Heal us too.

You free the prisoners from their jails. Free us from ourselves.

Loving God, please come to us, and send us out, forgiven,
to the poor, the brokenhearted the imprisoned.

Hymn Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies,
With th’angelic host proclaim: “Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! The herald angels sing,“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ by highest heav’n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold Him come, Offspring of the Virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail the incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with us to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!” (interlude)

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by, Born that we no more may die,
Born to raise us from the earth, Born to give us second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”

Call to Worship (Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12, Malachi 4:20)

One: The people who walk in darkness will see a great light

ALL: O Lord, be our light!

Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.

O Lord, be our light!

Jesus said “I am the Light of the world; those who follow Me 

will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

O Lord, be our light!

For you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise 

with healing in its wings.

O Lord, be our light!

Call to Confession  Jesus did not worry about what others thought.

He did not avoid conflict, but confronted head-on what needed to be changed. Let us confess how hard it is to do the same.

Prayer of Confession

God, sometimes we are more interested in the approval of others than in what you want us to do and be. Forgive us, Lord.

Sometimes we play nice, avoiding conflict even when your gospel of love would call us to speak out. Forgive us, Lord. 

Sometimes we substitute a different kind of preaching for the preaching of good news that you offer the poor. Forgive us, Lord.

Sometimes we preach a gospel of self-reliance instead of the freedom offered by your grace. Forgive us, Lord.

Sometimes we want the blind to see the same way we do,

instead of taking the log out of our own eyes. Forgive us, Lord.

Sometimes we want the oppressed to just be a little more patient,

instead of letting them go free. Forgive us, Lord.

(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Pardon 

God offers us God’s very self, granting us grace and new life.

Thanks be to God for the Good News:  In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father 

Sharing of Prayer Joys and Concerns  

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries            

Hymn of Dedication O Come, All Ye Faithful Martina McBride https://youtu.be/Y3egGjeiWEA

O come, all ye faithful Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him Christ the Lord

O, sing, choirs of angels Sing in exultation
O come, o come ye to Bethlehem 

Come and behold Him Born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him Christ the Lord

O come, all ye faithful Joyful and triumphant
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him Born the King of Angels!

O come, let us adore Him O come, let us adore Him
O come, let us adore Him Christ the Lord

O come, let us adore Him Christ the Lord

Doxology (Blue, #592)   Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

Prayer of Dedication

Holy One, this Advent season we come with joy,
and we give in love: Love in return for you loving us first,

Love experienced through your presence with us.
Receive and use these gifts and our very lives 

to share your love with the world. Amen.  

Prayer for Illumination  Joy to the World

Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room, And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing, And heav’n, and heav’n, and nature sing.

Old Testament Reading:  Isaiah 61:1-11

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
    to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and release to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
    and the day of vengeance of our God;
    to comfort all who mourn;
to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
    to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
    the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.
They shall build up the ancient ruins,
    they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
    the devastations of many generations.

Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
    foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines;
but you shall be called priests of the Lord,
    you shall be named ministers of our God;
you shall enjoy the wealth of the nations,
    and in their riches you shall glory.
Because theirshame was double,
    and dishonor was proclaimed as their lot,
therefore they shall possess a double portion;
    everlasting joy shall be theirs.

For I the Lord love justice,
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing;
I will faithfully give them their recompense,
    and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants shall be known among the nations,
    and their offspring among the peoples;
all who see them shall acknowledge
    that they are a people whom the Lord has blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
    my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots,
    and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
    to spring up before all the nations.

New Testament Lesson: Luke 4:16-21

16 When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Sermon: What Do You Do While You’re Waiting?

Affirmation of Faith   (John 1, NRSV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 

and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. 

All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, 

and the life was the light of all people. The light shines 

in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. 

10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;  yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own,     and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,         full of grace and truth.

Closing Hymn  Go Tell It On the Mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born! (repeat chorus)

While shepherds kept their watching O’er silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens There shone a holy light

Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!

The shepherds feared and trembled When lo! Above the Earth
Rang out the angel chorus That hailed our Savior’s birth

Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born!

Down in a lowly manger Our humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation That blessed Christmas morn

Go, tell it on the mountain Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain That Jesus Christ is born! (Repeat chorus)

Charge and Benediction

Postlude  Go Tell It On the Mountain                                  arr. S. Moorehttps://youtu.be/NaBoOAIs2lY

What do you do while you’re waiting?

Barb’s sister Beth started posting numbers in decreasing order on her facebook without explanation. Eventually it became clear that she was counting down to the beginning of Advent. It is not unusual for people to count down to Christmas, which is a big event, but Advent is typically considered a time of waiting… waiting and anticipating Christmas. So I asked, rather incredulously, “So are you waiting for when you will start waiting?” And she laughingly said “That’s right.”

But now that we are in the midst of Advent, is it a time of waiting and anticipating? Or is it something more than waiting and anticipating? Mr. Rogers used to sing a song on his TV show “What do you DO while you’re waiting…while you’re waiting for something else to do?” The scriptures today lead me to believe he was actually saying something profound about Advent, because it was not sufficient to say we are just “waiting.” Just waiting is boring and difficult. Barb and I stood outside in a line with masks on six feet away from others waiting to be allowed into an outdoor market where the number of buyers were strictly limited. We were anticipating what we would find and could not leave the line or we would lose our place. It reminded me of when I work with young children who have a terrible time waiting and I tell them “waiting is hard, but it is part of growing up.” But Mr. Rogers points to an important difference between waiting while doing nothing, and DOING something while waiting. For him, and in the scriptures today, waiting is a time to DO something. A time perhaps, to truly prepare for the event we are waiting for.

The Isaiah passage was likely written upon the return of the Israelites from exile. They faced the rebuilding of a crumbled society. They needed to rethink how government was done, how education was done, how gatherings were done, how family was done. 2020 was also a year of exile, a year of crumbling infrastructure. So, first in Isaiah, and then in Luke we hear a challenge for what we could do while we’re waiting… waiting for Christmas, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for a New Year, waiting for a new, reconstituted life together to begin.

This Advent, this waiting time is an opportunity to DO while we wait and anticipate all these new events. In Isaiah, the power to DO comes from the Spirit that falls upon him. In Luke, Jesus proclaims that “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” And indeed, we believe that the Spirit of God has already fallen upon all the people God claims as God’s own… that includes you and me.

So the Scripture begins by telling us that we have the power, and the responsibility to DO the work we are called to do while we wait for Christmas, while we wait for a vaccine, while we wait for a new reconstituted life together, while we wait for the New Year. What do WE DO while WE are waiting?

TODAY this scripture is fulfilled in our hearing! The Spirit of the Lord is upon us, because the Lord has anointed us…eventually it specifies that this anointing of the Lord has “named ministers of our God.” We are ALL anointed by the Spirit and we are ALL ministers of our God, so we have a ministry to DO while we’re waiting.

The ministry we are called to is a ministry that captures and embodies the Spirit of Christmas. We are anointed to preach GOOD NEWS to the poor. But this is not empty preaching that smiles and says things will be fine, this is GOOD NEWS accompanied by action, by what we ministers are DOING while we are waiting. It is the work we are challenged to DO now, and it’s a pretty tall order (good thing we are all named ministers so “many hands can make light work).

We are to reach out to the brokenhearted and bind them up with our support. The brokenhearted whose lives have been crushed, whose losses have been so great, who were so ravaged by this past year of exile. Can we think of at least one person whose heart has been broken by this past year? Can we accept the challenge to reach out and help bind up their broken heart while we are waiting?

We are to offer a release from darkness to those imprisoned by the circumstances of their lives. Poverty imprisons some, hunger imprisons some, addiction imprisons some, bondage to sin imprisons some. Can we offer the light of Christ as we provide tangible help instead of feeling repulsed or judgmental to those whose life prisons have shrouded them in darkness? Can we contribute tangible help for some imprisoned person while we are waiting?

We are to comfort those who mourn. We don’t need to force a “merry” happiness on those who are grieving. Can we reach out to someone who just can’t celebrate this Christmas and offer a listening ear, a loving heart, and comfort for them in their mourning while we are waiting?

We are called to rebuild the ruins of our society and restore the gatherings long devasted. Do we dare to look beyond individuals and extend the work of our shared ministry to acknowledge the brokenness and devastation all around us? Brokenness caused by greed, devastation caused by bigotry, racism, and injustice. Can we reach out in even one small way to rebuild and restore a society that rejects the devastation while we are waiting?

We are waiting but we are not waiting alone. We are waiting with so many other ministers anointed by God. And we are waiting and ABLE TO DO because the Spirit of the Lord, the true Spirit of Christmas is upon us while we are waiting.

And the hope that is promised is a hope fulfilled by the work of God through our meager actions as God’s ministers. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the hope is that God’s faithfulness WILL reward us with an everlasting covenant. And together we will proclaim the New Year, the year we are waiting for, a year of God’s favor!

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

Summer Hebrews Series #2: Hebrews 2:10-18 (Matthew 12:46-50) for Narrative Lectionary (July 21, 2019?)

Featured image: https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/hebrews-2-15-freed-from-fear-of-death-yellow-7548


Collect form

One commentator notes that Hebrews consists essentially of three things: Scriptural quotes/interpretation, theology, and exhortation. To me, this boils down to who God is/what God does and who we are and what we need to do/can do. This relates to the possibility of looking at Hebrews through the construct of a Collect, an originally Latin Roman Catholic prayer a particular form, basically consisting of an address of God that mentions the attributes of God that relate to the petition (O God, who….) and then a petition (empower us….) and a purpose clause (so that…). We are referring to this as “Who God is and what God does, and what we need and why.” This seems to encompass a lot of the book of Hebrews as it develops its theology of who God is and what God does in order to talk about what we need to do/can do and why. [For a more detailed explanation of the form of a collect (with 5 parts, adding an address of God, a conclusion calling on the mediation of Christ and an Amen) see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collect



This pericope is set for the first Sunday of Christmas in the RCL. (My husband and I are planning a Christmas in July for the last Sunday of the month; you could pair this whole series with Christmas/incarnation themes).


The folks at Working Preacher have commentaries for both the NL and the Christmas setting; this link has a few lines from each commentary and the links to each of them.

See https://www.workingpreacher.org/search/Default.aspx?cx=001947499050786061073:fplx-aun2rq&q=Hebrews%202:10-18&cof=FORID:10&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&search_domain=WWW



For the Christmas setting, see also http://www.textweek.com/yeara/christma1.htm


Vv. 10-12

Verses 5-12 were included in the RCL with 1:1-4. See http://www.textweek.com/epistlesrevelation/hebrews1_2.htm

and the blog from last week for details.


Other exegetical resources for Hebrews 2 are at the bottom of this blog…



HYMNS for Hebrews 2:10-18

(Numbers are from the Presbyterian Hymnal/1990)


180 The God of Heaven

185.5-10 Psalm 33 (The .5-10 means verses 5-10 are particularly pertinent)

224 Bless the Lord, My Soul and Being

267 All Things Bright and Beautiful

271.1 Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things

288 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

290 God Created Heaven and Earth

293 This Is My Father’s World

294 Wherever I May Wander

455 All Creatures of Our God and King

467.1+2 How Great Thou Art



11.3 O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?

75.1+4 O Wondrous Sight, O Vision Fair

140.2 Holy, Holy

155.3 Rejoice, the Lord Is King

341 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

346.2 Christ, You Are the Fullness

388.4 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389.4 O Jesus, I Have Promised

426.5 Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak

441.5 I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord

485 To God Be the Glory

492.3 Baptized in Water

518.4 Sheaves of Summer



385.3 O God, We Bear the Imprint of Your Face



55.4 That Boy-Child of Mary  (Bold type means the whole hymns is particularly pertinent)

157.1 Our King and Our Sovereign, Lord Jesus

518.4 Sheaves of Summer



4.2 Creator of the Stars of Night

5.2 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

14.1 Savior of the Nations, Come

27 Gentle Mary Laid Her Child

29.3 Go, Tell It on the Mountain

36.2 In the Bleak Midwinter

41.2 O Come, All Ye Faithful

49.2+3 Once in Royal David’s City



9.2 O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

14.2 Savior of the Nations, Come

20.3 Watchman, Tell Us of the Night

26 Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

28.3 Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

31.3 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

32 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

90.2 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

91.2 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty!

105 Because You Live, O Christ

107 Celebrate with Joy and Singing

108 Christ is Alive!

109 Christ Is Risen

110 Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Bands

112 Christ the Lord Is Risen Again

113 Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!

118 The Day of Resurrection!

119.2 The Strife Is O’er

120R Hail Thee, Festival Day!

121.3 That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright

155.2 Rejoice, the Lord Is King

165.4+5 When in the Night I Meditate

281.3 Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

290.4 God Created Heaven and Earth

360.5 Hope of the World

383 My Faith Looks Up to Thee

406 Why Has God Forsaken Me?

495 We Know That Christ Is Raised

533.2 O Perfect Love

538.3 Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

540.4 God Be with You Till We Meet Again

582 Dying, You Destroyed Our Death (Memorial Acclamation)

601.5 Song of Zechariah (Benedictus)



3.1 Comfort, Comfort You My People

26 Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light

85 What Wondrous Love Is This

103 Deep Were His Wounds, and Red

140.3 Holy, Holy

144.1+4 Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!

296.2 Walk On, O People of God

341.1 Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!

355 Hear the Good News of Salvation

395.2+3 Have Mercy, Lord, on Me (Take Pity, Lord)

466 O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

467.3 How Great Thou Art

485.1 To God Be the Glory



77.1 Forty Days and Forty Nights

80 Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley

81.2 Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days

83.2 O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

97.1 Go to Dark Gethsemane

360.3 Hope of the World

388.2 O Jesus, I Have Promised

389.2 O Jesus, I Have Promised

403 What a Friend We Have in Jesus








Complete sermon on the pericope (2nd one on the page); Christmas context



Audio sermon from Princeton Seminary on the Fellowship of Suffering



Another audio from Princeton, this one says it’s the worship service but it’s only 21 mins long so maybe not; with Chuck Colson reflecting on being in prison





Typed sermon from Arthur Landwehr sermon collection. “God Give So You Can,” Hebrews 2:9-13. Refers to a novel from 1964! Methodist pastor in Chicago.


45 minute audio of 1956 sermon from Princeton on Hebrews 2 addressing the faithfulness of God



An order of worship around Hebrews 2 from Calvin Symposium on Worship

The theme that year was Hebrews, so other pages may be of interest for the series.




This set of prayers has one for each verse of Hebrews 2



Offering prayer from UMC Discipleship

Dear God, for whom and through whom all things exist, you are the Sovereign of the universe! Yet you have named us among your beloved children and call us to live as brothers and sisters of Christ. On this World Communion Sunday, we rejoice that you gather us around the Table of your Son, the risen Lord. May our offerings reach out to bring hope and grace to our near and distant neighbors, whom you know and love. We pray in the most excellent name of Jesus. Amen. (Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12)


Reflection with prayer on the exact passage:



Worship pieces (prayers, etc.) based on Hebrews 1-2, https://www.ministrymatters.com/worship/entry/6271/worship-elements-october-7-2018




(See bottom of page for exegetical resources for Hebrews 2)

My husband, who is preaching this next Sunday, felt like the assigned Hebrews pericope had a lot of overlapping themes with Psalm 69, which he also preached. See blog for 6/23 at https://wordpress.com/post/bjhlog.wordpress.com/224 for those themes to see if you agree and if any of those resources are helpful.


He is actually preaching Isaiah 40:25-31 and Hebrews 2:1-4 instead, with a theme of God not being done yet/who will pass the story on? Here’s the liturgical resources I wrote for those passages:


Call to Worship (for “other possibilities”; from Isaiah 40:27-28)

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.


Don’t you know?

   Haven’t you heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God;
he created all the world.
He never grows tired or weary.
     He strengthens those who are weak and tired.
Those who trust in the Lord for help are renewed
We rise on wings like eagles.
   We will run and not get weary;
We will walk and not grow weak.



Prayer of Confession

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

O God, at times we allow ourselves to be distracted.

We forget to look for your work in the world.

We slide away from you, drawn by other pastures.

Forgive us. Re-focus and strengthen us.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


Assurance of Pardon

Original resource by Barb Hedges-Goettl; please give credit if using/adapting.

We rejoice in the great salvation first announced by the Lord Jesus himself, and passed down to us by those who heard him speak. Thanks be to God for the Good News:

In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Hymns (for the “other possibilities”)

I Sing the Mighty Power of God

How Great Thou Art

Lift High the Cross

I Love to Tell the Story

On Eagles’ Wings


BULLETIN COVER (for the “other possibilities”)

We are using a photo of the congregation (serendipitously taken today!) to illustrate “Who is passing the story on.”




Hebrews 2:10 on Jesus our Pioneer



Hebrews 2:14 on the incarnation




The ones below were targeted for my husband’s sermon on Hebrews 2:1-4, but you can access the later verses on most of them as well….


Contextualization of Hebrews 2 in the larger context of Hebrews and the whole Bible



Word study & devotional application of Hebrews 2



Sproul’s verse-by-verse exposition of Hebrews 2



Verse by verse commentary from a Free Methodist church



Sermon notes from Blue Letter Bible






Analysis drawing on a variety of commentators incl. word(s) study, discussions of other pertinent scriptural texts, illustrations & an extended section on “drifting away”


When in Doubt: Easter Sunday Resource

John 20: 1-18 and Psalm 118:21-29

Call to Worship (from Psalm 118)
One: Jesus Christ is risen;
ALL: he is risen indeed!
One: And so I thank you, O God, that you have answered me.
ALL: You have become my salvation.
One: The stone that the builders rejected
ALL: has become the chief cornerstone.
One: This is the Lord’s doing;
ALL: it is marvelous in our eyes.
One: This is the day that the Lord has made;
ALL: let us rejoice and be glad in it.
One: For Jesus Christ is risen;
ALL: he is risen indeed!

Prayers of the people* (Silence may follow each refrain of “we seek the Lord.”)
One: People, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? Many: They have taken away the Lord, and we do not know where they have laid him.
One: In the darkness of our mornings and our nights Many: we seek the Lord. One: When hopes have been tampered with and things are not going as planned Many: we seek the Lord. One: When our nation is deeply divided and violence abounds Many: we seek the Lord. One: When jobs are lost or never found Many: we seek the Lord. One: When darkness overcomes the health we try to hold onto Many: we seek the Lord. One: In the darkness of divorce and bankruptcy, eviction and addiction Many: we seek the Lord. One: When the usual situations and explanations reduce us to tears Many: we seek the Lord.
ALL: O God, in our grief and anguish, we seek you. Call us by name so that we know you and proclaim your living, risen presence. Amen.
*These images are adapted from Taylor, Catherine E., “ ‘Who are you looking for?’ I Corinthians 15:19; John 20:1-18,” Journal for Preachers, 28:3 (Easter 2005), 31-33.

Call to Confession:
We do not always live as people of the resurrection. While it is still dark, we come to the tomb, expecting only death, and the risen one meets us and calls us by name.
Prayer of Confession:
One: Confessing the darkness of our lives and our world, we come to you
Many: God of grace and mercy, hear our prayer.
One: Confessing our part in dealing death and denying hope, we come to you
Many: God of grace and mercy, hear our prayer.
One: Confessing that it is hard to love others as ourselves, we come to you
Many: God of grace and mercy, hear our prayer.
One: Confessing harsh words expressed and kind words unsaid, we come to you
Many: God of grace and mercy, hear our prayer.
One: Confessing the decisions we make about our time, our energy and our loyalties, we come to you
Many: God of grace and mercy, hear our prayer.
ALL: God of hope and resurrection, free us from the stones that block us from living as resurrection people. [Silent confession.] Amen.

Assurance of Pardon:
God has removed the stone from the tomb. The resurrected Jesus meets us, calling us by name, that we may proclaim him as the risen Lord.
Thanks be to God for the Good News:
ALL: In Jesus Christ, we are resurrection people. Thanks be to God.

More Lent Prayer Resources

Rev. Dr. Barbara Hedges-Goettl has her doctorate in liturgy and has worked on the new Book of Common Worship for the PCUSA, she is particularly interested in Communion, and uses her writing skills for bulletins, sermons and IEPs for children with special needs.



An entire Communion Liturgy is available at https://katyandtheword.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/when-in-doubt-prayer-resource-maundythursday-communion-liturgy-lastsupper/