Visit our new site at

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings~Pancakes, and ashes, and Lent--oh my!

God of wilderness and water,
your Son was baptized and tempted as we are. 
Guide us through this season,
that we may not avoid struggle,
but open ourselves to blessing,
through the cleansing depths of repentance
and the heaven-rending words of the Spirit. Amen.

Here in the midst of the snowpocalypse, many of us missed Last Epiphany and t-fig, but it's time to move on, nonetheless. This week is chock of full of activity; we'll be eating pancakes on Tuesday night, perhaps having a pancake race, and burning last year's palms to make ashes. Some will be having packzis (something I never encountered until I moved to this area, where there are lots of folks of eastern European heritage) or king's cake as well.

And then on to Ash Wednesday.  We'll have Eucharist with imposition of ashes twice that day, with a kid's service as well. Will you be joining in the ashes-to-go phenomenon? If you're preaching the readings can be found HERE. Preachers can choose between two prophets: Joel, who cries out for repentance--truly turning back to God, or Isaiah, who warns against fasting undertaken for the wrong reasons, and calls instead for caring for the poor and oppressed. The gospel from Matthew, always a tricky one to preach just before imposing ashes, warns against practicing one's piety just to be seen, and reminds us that where our treasures are,  so too shall be our hearts.

And finally we are led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness with Jesus as we begin our Lenten journey. (READINGS HERE)  We begin with a reading from Deuteronomy that rehearses the salvation history of the people of Israel as Moses reminds them about the importance of offering their first fruits back to God--maybe a surprising choice for the first Sunday of Lent. The new testament reading from Paul's letter to the Romans, reaffirms the importance of confessing our faith in Jesus. And our gospel from Luke takes us into the wilderness where we watch as Jesus faces a series of temptations.

How will your Lenten journey begin? Do you have a special theme for the season, or special activities planned? Are you doing a sermon series? How is the word speaking to you this week? Join in the discussion and let us know!


  1. I'm using the lectionary this season to create a theme/series: "Rooted in Love, Growing in Faith." I'm pairing the OT with the gospel each week, and we are singing the psalms (like good Presbyterians). The midweek program/service will focus on spiritual practices we can glean from the week's readings. I'm reversing weeks three and four, though, because of our communion schedule. :-) So we're looking at being rooted in God's story, in God's promise, in the rituals of our tradition, in God's abundance, in God's call and vision...

    now to figure out how on earth I'm going to turn those into sermons. hahahahahahahhahaa.

  2. We're STILL digging out from the snowpocalypse here. Our Pancake Dinner is moved to "Fat Tuesday on Sunday" breakfast before church. And what we're doing on Ash Wednesday is not yet clear. So my thoughts for Sunday are still in flux...something Lenten, maybe about temptations and challenges.

    It's been a crazy week already!

  3. The youth event I spoke at last month was a play on the words "discipline" and "disciple." (It only works in English, not in the Greek, if you're a it rusty). I'm thinking that's where I'm going for this first Sunday in Lent. I won't be back to this particular congregation until Easter Sunday, so I think I'll do a whole-Lent kind of sermon rather than a kick-off. Hoping to be able to adapt some stuff from the youth event, the Temptation in the Wilderness, and I think the first-fruits from Deuteronomy fits, as a kind of spiritual discipline we covenant to do. Still pondering.

  4. We are focusing this Lent on baptism and membership vows. The visual that we will be using are street signs. We'll have a stop sign, yield, U turn,detour, and one way. This week I am introducing the street signs and won't have one. Since Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem and we are on the way to living out our baptismal vows it could all come together or be a great big mess. Who knows. But I'm exhausted from two funerals (one Sat and one last night), Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner preps, Ash Wed prep, and getting ready for the nursing home service on Thursday. Could it be Friday already?!?

  5. Ash Wednesday service this evening with stations for reflection, using material from another RGBP.
    For Lent I am working through the Old Testament readings, haven't looked enough yet to see how it will link to Lent. Bible Study groups are using 'an acceptable fast' form Thoughtful Christian.
    last Sunday and this coming Saturday I am leading Inductions for Ministers in our area. and my husband is overseas for 2 weeks [on a Holy Land tour] and his father is in hospital 3 hours away. So tonight is pretty much a repeat of 2 years ago, with the addition of a You Tube clip if I can get the technology to work. Sunday, will look at it sometime before then, I hope!

  6. We're doing "Making Sense of the Cross" for our Lenten Bible study, so I'm hoping to be able to use the themes from the chapters for a Sunday sermon series. We don't start until next week, so I'm left to ponder how the temptation fits into my quasi-theme.

    For mid-week, there's a small group of pastors from my denomination in the area, and we do a round-robin - which is nice since it means I have one service I get to do 4 times. We picked a canned program from CCP and I think I'll be able to use the pre-written sermons with just a few tweaks.

    Now if I can just get the hang of ash imposition! A

    1. ..nd get the bulletins for tonight printed!


You don't want to comment here; instead, come visit our new blog, We'll see you there!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.