Written on Our Hearts

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B, Old Testament Lesson

Scripture: Jeremiah 31:31-34

In our reading from the prophet Jeremiah we return again to the plight of the Israelites in the wilderness. God sent the 10 Commandments to the people who were worshipping golden calves and disrespecting Moses and one another. The people heard the thunder of God’s voice and saw the tablets, but they still disobeyed. The people complained tirelessly for lack of food and the length of the journey and God, in God’s anger, sent the plight of snakes on the people. The people repented, and God sent the antidote. Here were learn of God seeing the need for a new way forward and God’s decision to make a new covenant with the people since the covenant made in taking the people out of Egypt has been broken by the people, themselves. In this covenant there will no longer be outward signs like the rainbow after the flood, the name changes of the patriarch and matriarch, or the tablets upon which the commandments were written. This new covenant would respond to the very way God made humans – God promised to write the knowledge and love of God onto their very hearts. In doing this, God ensured that the people could never stray too far from the Lord. This new covenant is one of love and mercy and it speaks to the very nature of the Almighty.

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LPTW Lent 5, Year B, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Lent 5, Year B, Older Children, Old Testament

God is Doing a New Thing!

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C, Old Testament
Scripture: Isaiah 43:16-21

We have moved from the story-telling kind of narratives in our Hebrew Scripture lesson, to the more poetic voice of Isaiah. (You might want to remind the children that the Bible is made up of all kinds of writing, such as stories, letters, laws, and songs.) We don’t listen to this kind of writing the same way that we listen to a narrative story. Today’s reading is a kind of poetry through which we still hear the voice of God. This passage from Isaiah references the stories we have heard in the past few weeks, but calls us to move past simple remembrance into participation into God’s new and ongoing action in the world.

Download the lesson plans for the Fifth Week in Lent

LPTW Lent 5, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

Bearing much Fruit

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: John 12:20-33

Jesus continues the preparation of his followers. The hour has almost arrived for “the Son of Man to be glorified.” Whatever could he mean, his disciples wonder? So Jesus selects a concrete image, one they will all have experienced: a grain of wheat – apparently lifeless – yet falling into the earth and dying, bears much fruit. The paradox: those who love their life lose it. Whoever serves Jesus, must follow Jesus. And as Jesus accepts what is to come, the voice again is heard. The crowd thinks it is thunder, the disciples perhaps hear God assuring Jesus that God is being glorified by Jesus. And once again Jesus assures us that when he is lifted up from the earth he will draw all people to himself. The disciples shook their heads. We are still unpacking the power of this message.

Download the lesson plans for the Fifth Sunday of Lent

LPTW Lent 5, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year B, Adults
LPTW Lent 5, Year B, All

Prophets Bring Hope

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Old Testament Lesson, Year A
Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Living in Babylon during the time of the Exile, Ezekiel’s visions and prophecies gave his fellow Israelites encouragement and support. He put the events of destruction and capture in a theological context, assured the people that God was still with them, and provided hope for return and restoration. The Book of Ezekiel is noted for its thorough chronological notations, vivid imagery, and beautiful prose and poetry. The Lectionary reading of Ezekiel connects to the Baptismal Rite’s forgiveness of sins and new life through baptism. “Heavenly Father we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, and raised them to the new life of grace.” [Book of Common Prayer, p. 308]

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

LPTW Lent 5, Year A, Younger Children, Old Testament
LPTW Lent 5, Year A, Older Children, Old Testament

Getting Free from What Keeps us Bound

Fifth Week in Lent, Year A
Scripture: John 11:1-45

He has been in the tomb for four days, Martha reminds Jesus. Yet Jesus stands before the tomb and cries in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” Then Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Where are we bound? What is keeping us from getting unbound?

Download the Lesson Plans for the Fifth Week in Lent

LPTW Lent 5, Year A, Young Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year A, Older Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year A, Adult
LPTW Lent 5, Year A, All

When to Store Up and When to Pour Out

Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C
Scripture: John 12:1-8

The imported perfume was worth a year’s wages, and it was poured out on the feet of Jesus. Was it an obscene waste of valuable resources that could have been used to feed the poor?  Or an orthodox preparation of a body for burial? How do we become responsible stewards knowing when to store up and when to pour out?

Download the Lesson Plans for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 5, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year C, Older Children
LPTW Lent 5, Year C, Adults