Category Archives: Lent

First Sunday in Lent

God’s promise of continuing relationship

Collect: First Sunday in Lent

 Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the spirit to be tempted of Satan: Make speed to help thy servants who are assaulted by manifold temptations; and as thou knowest their several infirmities, let each one find thee mighty to save; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Genesis 9:8-17 . . . life begins anew, sealed by God’s promise to all creatures and confirmed by the rainbow

Psalm 25: 1-9 . . .  help us find a path that leads through the vicissitudes of life towards You, Lord

1 Peter 3:18-22 . . . we are saved through the cleansing water of baptism

Mark 1:9-15 . . . Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness end with the proclamation of God’s good news

Father Michael Renninger, Pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon from Mark 1:9-15 called, “Satan Had a Problem.”

Rev, Grace Imathiu,  Pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Naperville, Illinois, and an international speaker.  Her sermon,    from Mark 1:9-15,  called “In Those Days.”

Readings for Palm Sunday

The Depth of Jesus’ Suffering and Anticipate His Final Triumph

Collect: The Sunday of the Passion

Almighty and ever-living God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Isaiah 50:4-9  . . . Isaiah pictures God’s servant enduring rejection so that he might speak God’s word.

Psalm 31:9-16 . . . The Hidden Face of Love

Philippians 2:5-11 . . . Paul describes Christ’s spirit of humility

Matthew 26:14–27:66 . . . Jesus, nailed to a cross, receives the abuse and scorn of all people.

Sermon  by Richard W. Voelz is an Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. His sermon for this week draws on the eyewitness account of Egeria, an early pilgrim to Jerusalem, who marveled at the devotion of the all-day Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. What can we learn from those pilgrims?

Also Palm Sunday: As Passover approaches two processions enter the Holy City. The might of imperial Rome, and Jesus, riding on a donkey. Rival theologies and rival social orders. by Geoffrey Plant . . . other talks about Palm Sunday.  Enjoy!



Readings for FifthSunday of Lent

The New Life promised to Believers Through Jesus, the Christ

Collect: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners; Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Ezekiel 37:1-14 . . .  announces that, at the word of the Lord, God will restore the people and breathe into them God’s Spirit.

Psalm 130 . . . The Call for Healing

Romans 8: 6-11 . . . Paul asserts that those who belong to Christ have Christ’s Spirit living within, enlivening and empowering them.

John 11: 1-45 . . . Jesus demonstrates his power to give life by raising his friend Lazarus from the dead.

Homily by Jude Thaddeus Langeh

And then there is . . . Will Willimon is a bishop in the United Methodist Church


Readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent

Light for the world, dispelling spiritual darkness.

Collect: Fourth Sunday in Lent

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore gives us this bread, that he may lie in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen

1 Samuel 16: 1-13 . . . Samuel sees beyond outward appearances to choose the least likely son of Jesse to anoint as king

Psalm 23 . . . A Song From the Flock of God.

Ephesians 5:8-14 . . . Paul explains that the Christian’s life must be characterized by the light of holiness.

John 9:1-41 . . . a blind man gains sight and worships Jesus.

A Sermon for the fourth Sunday of Lent

Will Willimon is a bishop in the United Methodist Church and one of the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world. He is also a prolific author, having written more than 60 books. Will has something to say. In this sermon from John 9:1-41 he has something to say about the Man Born Blind, and how his encounter with Jesus moves him from darkness to light

Readings for 3rd Sunday in Lent

Jesus as thirst-quenching, life-giving water.
Collect: 3rd Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we me be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

Exodus 17:1-7 . . . Despite the Israelites’ quarreling and complaining, God gives the people fresh water from a rock.

Psalm 95 Holding the Future, Remembering the Past . . .

Romans 5:1-11 . . . Paul characterizes the new life that is now ours in Christ

John 4:5-42 . . . Jesus offers living water to a Samaritan woman.

Sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Lent. Sermon delivered by Deacon Cathy Smith

Readings for Second Sunday of Lent, March 12

An Invitation to Rebirth

Collect: Second Sunday of Lent

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy; Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever.  Amen

Genesis 12:1-4 .  .  .  This reading marks the beginning of Israel as a people.   Hearing the call of God, Abram (later renamed Abraham), leaves his country and his people, following God into a new life.

Psalm 121 .  .  . Your Presence Till Journey’s End

Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 .  .  .   Paul explains how Abraham’s faith, revealed in his willingness to believe and act on God’s promises, makes him right with God.  Now righteousness is received by trusting in God’s Son whose own faithfulness  to God even unto death has become the basis justification by faith alone.

John 3:1-17 .  .  . Jesus invites Nicodemus, a nighttime seeker, to believe and be born again is the way this is often interpreted.  To my mind, Jesus is telling Nicodemus that “you have  to be  it to see it — the Spirit of God is already in Nicodemus.”  To my mind the invitation is to the gospel reader as stated in Mark 8:6: If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”  I appears to me, in this reading, that Nicodemus is already dragging his cross; he can see.

A Sermon on the Gospel  Carla Pratt Keyes, Pastor of Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon from John 3:1-17 called “Believing in Christ.” How do you preach “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”? How do you preach a Gospel text that has been reduced to the width, height, and sometimes, sadly, the depth of a bumper sticker?

1st Sunday of Lent, March 10

A  familiar cycle of temptation: fall, forgiveness and empowerment.

Collect: First Sunday in Lent

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Genesis: 2:15-17; 3:1-7. . .  Adam and Eve, have been given all good things from God and craved more and gave in to temptation.

Psalm 32 . . . The Deep Peace in Forgiveness

Romans 5:12-19 . . . Paul announces that the gift of grace in Jesus Christ overcomes the condemnation of sin.

Matthew 4:1-11 . . . Jesus sees through the tempter’s lures and resists, using the power of God’s word.

A Lecture: “Exile and Return: the scripture and the human condition” by Geoffrey Plant.

A Sermon: “Temptation” Dr. Tracy Hartman, Daniel O.  Aleshire Professor of homiletic and Practical Theology at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, gives an unusual spin to the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.