Fifth Sunday of Lent

Call to worship

On this last Sunday of Lent, we are reminded that God’s law is written upon our hearts. God loves us deeply and draws us closer by lifting up the only Son upon the cross. That cross has become for us the Tree of Life.

  • To the point: The challenge of today’s gospel is to serve others, lose one’s life and die. All this to gain new life. Disciples do this in imitation of Jesus. Discipleship, therefore, means a lifelong growing into dying and rising. Learning to serve, we understand what losing our life means. Losing our life, we understand what dying means. Dying, we receive the fruit: fullness of life and a share in Christ’s glorification.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 12: 20-33) to the second reading: What Jeremiah anticipates (“the days are coming”) Jesus fulfills (“Now is the time.”) What is anticipated and fulfilled? A new covenant with all people, a new people now drawn to Jesus himself.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: In our society people often strive to gain glory (self-aggrandizement) for themselves, even if it means hurting others. Followers of Jesus strive to gain glory, too.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(John 12: 20-33)

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father save me from this hour?’”

Jesus, You are troubled now by unclean water, 
by friends being trafficked, by racial injustice, starving children
and all the dying from a virus and deluge of drugs and guns.

What can we say but, we call your name.
We beg you to be with us now.
Help us right the wrongs, not counting the cost,
and become abundant fields of wheat for you.

The First Reading

(Jeremiah 31: 31-34)

“I will be their God and they will be my people.”

God writes on hearts, not on stone tablets now.
He is our God and we are his people.
We find him in all things new.
The God of surprises loves us, forgives
and forgets our sins.
God, we want to receive, and to cherish
and forgive, just as you do. Let it be.

The Second Reading

(Hebrews 5: 7-9)

“He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears …”

Jesus you knew fear. You called for help.
With loud cries. Your tears knew our worst pain,
yet you pick us up, you hold us and you
weep with us. We give great thanks to you,
Savior, friend.

Copyright © 2021, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection