Tell Me, Dear Tree: A Lenten Hymn of Sacrifice

Crucifixion Tree outside the walled city of Mdina. Photo by Antoine Pace via TrekEarth.com

Jesus’ suffering on the cross was a correct diagnosis and revelation of the human dilemma. It was an invitation to enter into solidarity with the pain of the world, and our own pain, instead of always resisting it, avoiding it, or denying it. Lady Julian of Norwich, my favorite Christian mystic, understood it so well, and she taught, in effect, that “There is only one suffering and we all share in it.” – Richard Rohr

Tell me, Dear Tree
A Lenten hymn of sacrifice
Meter- 86.86 double (CMD)
Suggested tune: KINGSFOLD (United Methodist Hymnal #179)

Tell me dear tree on which my Lord, my blessed Lord did hang,
How could you hold the spotless Lamb, be party with the gang?
That cheerless day, that shadowy hour, my blessed Savior died,
to free my soul for heavenly things, O tree, you must have cried.

Yes all your fibers must have screamed for you one time did live
a green and growing tree, alive, but your whole self did give
to be the instrument of death, to be the very tree
to be the place for Christ to die upon dark Calvary

Wait! Do I hear a shout of joy from somewhere deep within?
Your duty done; the battle won so all the world might win.
How beautiful your love for Him. He sewed it long ago
You bore the weight. You took the stain, and now the world must know

The tree of death felt every wound, felt all the pain and loss.
She loved her maker through it all, was glad to be His cross.
Teach me dear tree on which my Lord, My precious Lord did die
To treasure grueling duties done so Christ is lifted high

© 1992, revised 2009 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form. Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

Worship Resource: Jesus, Remember Me

This worship resource was inspired by Steve Garnaas-Holmes incredibly powerful and beautiful prayer, Jesus, Remember Me and the song of the same name associated with the Community of Taizé.

Worship Resource: Jesus, Remember Me
THE WORD OF GOD: Luke 23:33, 39-43 NRSV
Narrator:
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying,

First Thief:
Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!

Narrator:
But the other rebuked him, saying,

Other Thief:
Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong. Pause Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Jesus:
Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.

ALL SINGING:
Jesus, Remember Me (twice)
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal
#488

The music continues during the prayer.
Use a variety of speakers to voice the prayer.

ALL SPEAKERS:
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

ONE VOICE:
When you gather your Beloved into your Realm,
the disgraced and ashamed, the twisted and helpless,
remember me.

ONE VOICE:
When you pronounce your law,
“Blessed are the poor, for the Empire is theirs,”
remember me.

ONE VOICE:
When you raise up the brokenhearted,
forgive the guilty, heal the broken
and redeem those who struggle and fail,
remember me.

ALL SINGING:
Jesus, Remember Me (twice)
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

ONE VOICE:
When you spread your mercy over the land,
and your grace conquers all evil,
your love reigns supreme
and violence, even mine, is conquered,
remember me.

ONE VOICE:
When you take your throne of suffering,
and accept your blood-jeweled crown,
when you marshal your troops armed with self-emptying love,
remember me.

ONE VOICE:
When I must choose between love and comfort,
remember me.

ALL SPEAKERS:
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom

Music stops for time of silent prayer.
The singing which follows is without accompaniment.

ALL SINGING:
Jesus, Remember Me (repeat as desired)
By Jacques Bethier and the Community of Taizé
United Methodist Hymnal #488

****************
Worship Resource: Jesus, Remember Me reader’s theatre script and compilation © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia. You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting or church setting with proper attribution. Proper attribution would include references to Steve Garnaas-Holmes’ prayer Jesus, Remember Me and Jacques Berthier’s song Jesus, Remember Me (G.I.A Publications, Inc.) They retain the copyrights to their works.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Prayer: Make Us Intercessors

Intercessor by Jamie Treadwell

1 Timothy 2:1 NRSV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone

Numbers 21:7 NRSV
The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

John 11:3 CEB
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, saying, “Lord, the one whom you love is ill.”

Mark 2:4 NRSV
And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.

Mark 14:37-38 NIV
Then Jesus returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Prayer: Make Us Intercessors
One who hears. One who knows. One who cares.
Our lives are full- full of work, worry, apathy, weakness.
Yet, you ask us to watch and wait and pray with you.
We are surrounded by death, but you are Resurrection and Life.
Help us claim your gift of intercession.
Inspire us to join the long line of faithful witnesses
who stand in the gap on behalf of others.
Moses… Mary… Martha… the unnamed determined ones
who tore open the roof to place their broken friend at your feet.
Fill us with determination, too.
An active, strong, persevering trust in your power to make things new.
Fill us Jesus. Fill us and use us for your glory.
Our hope is in you. Amen.

**********
Click here for more information and more excellent work by today’s featured artist, Jamie Treadwell

Make Us Intercessors © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Worship Resource: We Thirst For You

This worship resource originally accompanied a sermon based on John 19:28 NIV:

Later, knowing that all was now completed,
and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”

It would work well with any scripture with the theme of hungering and thirsting for God.
– Lisa <><

Worship Resource: We Thirst for You
The introduction to the song begins.
The music continues under all the scripture readings.

ONE SPEAKING: Psalm 63:1 NIV
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
My whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

ALL SINGING:
We Exalt Your Name by Kari Jobe and Matt Maher (CCLI 5866478)
Verse 1 and Chorus 1

ONE SPEAKING: Psalm 63:2-5 NIV
I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you!

ONE or ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 63:4-5 NIV
I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest of foods.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

ALL SINGING:
We Exalt Your Name by Kari Jobe and Matt Maher (CCLI 5866478)
Verse 2, Chorus 2a, Chorus 2b

ONE SPEAKING: Psalm 63:6-7 NIV
I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.
I think how much you have helped me;
I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings.

ALL SPEAKING: Psalm 63:8a NIV
My soul clings to you
repeat as desired

ALL SINGING:
We Exalt Your Name by Kari Jobe and Matt Maher (CCLI 5866478)
Ending

**********
We Thirst For You compilation © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Altar Table: Words from the Cross

Altar table display depicting the words of Christ from the cross by Gail West.

The congregation of Community United Methodist Church of DeBary, Florida was blessed by the artistry of Gail West this Lenten season. Gail designed this altar table display to accompany a sermon series on Jesus’ words from the cross.

Gail West describing her work:
The seven crosses displayed on the altar represent the seven last words of Jesus Christ while on the cross. They are in rugged medium symbolizing Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness. The smaller “like” crosses represent the three crosses of Calvary.

I also see…
a homespun cloth representing Jesus’ robe, the one the soldiers gambled for
twisting vines representing the crown of thorns

What else do you see?