The Suffering Servant

Palm Sunday, Year C, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Isaiah 50:4-9

It is Palm Sunday! Isaiah 50:4-9 is read in all three lectionary years, regardless of which Gospel account is given. This reflects the long understanding of the Christian church that Jesus is the suffering servant described in Isaiah.

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LPTW Palm Sunday, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Palm Sunday, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

Remembering

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year C, Old Testament
Scripture: Joshua 5:9-12 

In this week’s lesson, we move forward in time again, to the time of Joshua, just after the people of God have ended their 40 years of post-Exodus wandering in the desert, and have crossed the Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. The lesson today takes place between this river crossing, which has many parallels to the crossing of the Red Sea in the Exodus story, and the battle of Jericho.

Download the lesson plan for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 4, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 4, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

God Promises to be with Moses

Third Sunday in Lent, Year C, Old Testament

Scripture: Exodus 3:1-15

In this week’s lesson, we move forward in time from the story of Abraham, to the time that the people of God are slaves in Egypt. We hear how God calls Moses to lead the people to freedom, and promises to be with Moses as he does this. Through Moses’ action, God will fulfill the promise made to Abraham that his descendants will live in the land that God had given him.

Download the lesson plan for the Third Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 3, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 3, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

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.

Download the lesson plans for the First Sunday of Lent

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

Walk with Jesus

Palm Sunday, Year B
Scripture: Mark 14:1-15 or Mark 15:1-39(40-47)

Abundance, not scarcity. The costliest of ointments poured out for Jesus. A man carrying a jar of water – work usually reserved for women – shows the way to the Passover meal. Pilate may have had generosity as one of his motives in offering the crowd Jesus’ release, but they choose Barabbas; and so Jesus is crucified. The words pierce us across the centuries. A soldier who had stood guard exclaims: “Truly this man was God’s Son.” This conviction continues to penetrate our souls, creating a space to house the incredible news of Easter.

Download the lesson plans for Palm Sunday, Year B

LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, Adults
LPTW Palm Sunday, Year B, All

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

Come to the Light

Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: John 3:14-21

Jesus patiently prepares his followers for what is to come. Jesus is to be “lifted up” so that he may then lift up all of us. The light has come into the world – a light some will seek at all costs. For others, the darkness is preferable to the penetrating brightness of the light. God reaches out to all of us, sending the Son into the world so that all might be saved through him. We do not know what the disciples made of this revelation. Our concern is what we make of it and what re-alignment we may be called to make.

Download the lesson plans for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 4, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 4, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Lent 4, Year B, Adults
LPTW Lent 4, Year B, All

Cleaning the Temple

Third Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: John 2:13-22

Events teach. Often the learning comes after the event. Jesus teaches with elements that have immediate impact as well as lingering meaning. And they usually land well outside the expected. So, with Passover looming, Jesus goes into the busy temple and proceeds to clean house. “Take these things out of here!” he demands of the money changers, the animal merchants – even those who sold doves. Then he announces: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” A temple that took 46 years to build? Could he mean the temple God has been building since the beginning of time? What “things” need to be removed from our own personal temples?

Download the Lesson Plans for the Third Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Adults
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, All

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.

Download the Lesson Plans for the First Sunday in Lent

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