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Resources for the 1st Sunday of Lent

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Ash Wednesday | Lent 1 | Lent 2 | Lent 3 | Lent 4 | Lent 5

DPS Lent Devotion (by Nail-Bender): Six Weeks of Daily Lenten Reflections, plus Easter week
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Psalm of Confession: Psalm 51

Reader 1: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; you who have great mercy, forgive what I have done.
Reader 2: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Reader 1: For I know what I have done wrong; my sins are ever before me and heavy on my heart.
Reader 2: Against you, God, you only, have I sinned; you who know all things know what I have done. You have every right to judge me for my actions and every right to punish me for them.
People: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Reader 1: In the time since I was born, I have committed many sins, and done many things which I wish I had not done.
Reader 2: God, you want me to be truthful to my very core; therefore, teach me wisdom in the depths of my heart.
Reader 1: If you will do it, O God, I shall be clean, wash me, and I shall be pure.
Reader 2: Fill me with joy and gladness!
People: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.

 

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Sermon Excerpt:

40 Days of Temptation
a sermon based on Mark 1:9-15
By Rev. Randy Quinn

On this, the first Sunday in the season of Lent, we remember the story of Jesus in the wilderness.  Matthew and Luke both agree with Mark that Jesus was there for 40 days; John, on the other hand, is silent about the entire event.  And both Matthew and Luke agree that it was not just a time of testing in the wilderness, but also a time of fasting.  (It is that part of the story that has influenced the traditional sense of Lent as a season of fasting.)

But of the three different Greek verbs that each of the gospel writers uses to describe the scene when Jesus goes into the wilderness, Mark uses the strongest verb when he tells us that Jesus was “sent” into the wilderness.  The way Mark tells it, it is almost as if Jesus were being plucked out of the water and thrown out into the wilderness (Mk. 1:12).

There was no warning ahead of time.

There was no time for him to pack a bag.

There was no time to prepare meals.

There is just a sense of suddenly being driven into the wilderness.

Maybe that has happened to you before.  You were doing one thing when you were suddenly tasked with and sent off to do another.  I can remember setting the table for dinner when Ronda realized we were out of milk so I was “sent” to the store, leaving the table for someone else to finish.

            As a volunteer firefighter, there were numerous times when the alarm was sounded and I ran off to tend to the needs of others in crisis.  My own circumstances took a back seat as I left dinner tables and unfolded laundry and lawn mowers in the middle of the yard.  I left whatever I was doing and began doing something for which I had been training.

According to Mark’s telling of the story, however, we don’t know what Jesus did once he got there.  We know he was tempted by Satan – but that doesn’t tell us what Jesus did.  We know there were wild animals there – but that doesn’t tell us what he did either.  We also know the angels “attended” to his needs – but again, that doesn’t tell us what Jesus did.

So I began to wonder what I would do if the Spirit suddenly drove me away into the desert....

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DPS Lent Devotion (by Nail-Bender): Six Weeks of Daily Lenten Reflections, plus Easter week