Our children this year are using a Lenten curriculum called “No Chocolate Know Chocolate” (Leader Resources). It uses chocolate, and its production from a cacao pod to a chocolate bar as a metaphor for growing in faith as Christians. It’s cute and effective even for adults since I bring chocolate bars to church and ask folks to consider the real purpose of giving up something or taking something on for Lent. (Hint, it’s not so one can “suffer”).
Following the RCL my thoughts for this second Sunday in Lent are going along the lines of “what does it mean to be nourished?” And I’m planning on using the Psalm as my primary text and the idea that nourished souls trust in God because they have faced challenges. Or, it is through facing challenges that we come to know God most fully and thereby also have a deeper sense of hope. Or, if one never faced any challenges how deep would/could one’s faith be? I may also tap into Philippians and the “imitate” Paul/Christ idea. This makes me think of Mary Oliver who once wrote that the way one becomes a poet is to imitate the poetry style of someone you like, writing poetry just like their’s until your poetic voice emerges. Imitate Christ until one can live a more Christ-like life….which is ultimately a life of facing challenges and growing in faith and hope.
Regardless of the text you are using or the direction you are contemplating (or not, exhausted or burned out or tired as you may be) this is the Preacher Party. Pull up chair, grab a mug, there’s inspiration to be shared, and virtual food and coffee aplenty!