God’s Promises are Eternal

First Sunday in Lent, Year B, Old Testament Lesson

Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17

On this first Sunday in Lent we hear the end of Noah’s story. Most of us are familiar with the tale of Noah’s arc and the flood that covered the earth. The students in your class will have played with a toy arc and plastic animals before. This week, however, we leave out all of the destruction and fear and focus on the promise. God chose Noah and his family to survive the flood and continue the human race – but trusting a God who destroys all that has been created is a difficult prospect. In today’s passage we hear of the mercy of God and the promise of life in abundance to come. In this exert from Genesis God makes a covenant not only with Noah, but with all living creatures, that the world will not be wiped out again. And to remind them of this promise God sends the rainbow and tells Noah and his children that each time they see a rainbow it should serve as a reminder of God’s promise to them. God likes to give us signs and symbols to remind us of God’s goodness, we practice them in the Eucharist each week when we “do this in remembrance of [Christ.]” Seeing the rainbow in nature, then, becomes sacramental as we remember the goodness of God as exemplified in the colors in the sky.

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LPTW Lent 1, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Lent 1, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament

Remembering and Anticipation

First Sunday of Lent, Year C, Old Testament
Scripture: Deuteronomy 26:1-11

In this week’s lesson, the people of God are hearing a reminder of God’s covenant/promise as they are about to end their time in the desert and cross over into the promised land. We hear this story as we are crossing into Lent, into our time in the desert as a reminder that this period of time is not forever, and that God keeps God’s promises, even when things are difficult. They remember God’s promises as they anticipate their future with God.

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LPTW Lent 1, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

Believe the Good News

First Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: Mark 1:9-15

Succinct! Mark wastes no words: Jesus’ vita as he presents himself for ministry – in 6 lines! Baptized, his call affirmed by God, ministry temptations faced, Jesus is ready to begin. Mark does not see the need to list the temptations, only that the angels were with Jesus as he did his discernment. Jesus emerges and announces his ministry: the time has come. The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe: our creed in a nutshell.

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LPTW Lent 1, Year B, InterGenerational

Temptation and Prayer

First Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: Mark 1:9-15 

Jesus is Baptized, the Spirit descends on him “like a dove,” and he hears the affirmation: “You are my Son, loved, and pleasing to me.” It appears that he is affirmed and ready for ministry. Yet, immediately the Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness where he must spend 40 days taming the temptations that come with power. Only then is Jesus equipped to proclaim the good news. And so we too are invited to notice the temptations that are pulling us off course, diverting our energy, and impeding our ability to proclaim the good news.

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LPTW Lent 1, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year B, Adults
LPTW Lent 1, Year B, All

Saying Yes to God

First Sunday in Lent, Old Testament Lesson, Year A
Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

The Book of Genesis starts in primeval history with a mythological account of the beginnings of our relationship with God. The story of the Fall is the second creation story and comes from a different source than the first. It begins the pattern of humanity’s constant choosing to separate from God, despite God’s ongoing invitation to participate in creation. By following our temptations to become our own gods, rather than putting all our trust in God, we open the door to pain and suffering in our own lives and others’. This Lectionary reading reflects the first three renunciations in the Baptismal Rite: “Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God? Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God? Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?” [Book of Common Prayer, p. 302.]

Download the Old Testament Lesson Plan for the First Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 1, Year A, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Lent 1, Year A, Older Children, Old Testament

Seeking Another Way

First Sunday in Lent, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11

A good deal of the media around us assures us that if we get it right, wear the latest styles, and gather the most toys we will have arrived. What if there was another way?

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LPTW Lent 1, Year A, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year A, Adult
LPTW Lent 1, Year A, All

Turning to God and One Another

First Sunday in Lent, Intergenerational Lesson, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus understood that he had to face the temptations that come with ministry. He realized he needed to get as vulnerable as possible to assure himself that he could stay grounded. So he fasted to get focus. Vulnerability is the door to both growth and to temptation. Jesus stares down the three temptation biggies: success, prestige, and power. (Concept found in: Radical Grace, Richard Rohr, St. Anthony Messenger Press. 1993. Pages 294-297)

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LPTW Lent, Year A, Intergenerational

Facing Temptations

First Sunday in Lent, Year C
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, energized and equipped, goes to the wilderness where he faced-down three confrontations that challenge us to this day. The first: how do we make the distinction between what we “want” and what we “need;” “bread” really feeds us? Second: who do we serve and what do we worship? Third: where are we smug, sure we are right, and putting God to the test? Jesus found his way through; Lent invites us to find our way through too.

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LPTW Lent 1, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year C, Older Children
LPTW Lent 1, Year C, Adults

Temptation

Lent, Intergenerational Lesson, Year C
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13

Today, many people are becoming ambivalent to, if not put off by, blaming the Devil for tempting Jesus. Temptation happens. What is important about this passage is that Jesus stared down each temptation and chose a better way. Perhaps the questions for us are: where or when am I inclined to be a show off? Where do I need to be in charge of things? Where am I so sure I am absolutely right and others are absolutely wrong? Then, as we consider our community, what can we do to be more in sync with what Jesus came to teach us?

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LPTW Lent, Year C, Intergenerational