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Lenten Theme: Jesus Christ Superstar

At FLUMC over the last several years, it's become our own 'tradition' to use a musical as a focus or backdrop of sorts during the season of Lent, as a different way of looking at the journey with Jesus to the cross. This year, we used my very favorite musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. One of my colleagues asked for my outline for the season, so I thought I would also post it here, in case any of you are interested.

Theme: "Who Do You Say that I Am?" - using music from Jesus Christ Superstar

Ash Wednesday
Overview of Theme: Who do we say Jesus is? Who did the figures in the Passion story say Jesus was? How did what they said affect their lives? How does who we say Jesus is change us?
Scripture: Mark 8:27-37
Song: We used "Everything's Alright," since it uses 3 characters, to give an overview. "Superstar" might also be an appropriate choice, since it lays out the main theme in the lyrics.
Character Focus: no specific character - all/overview

First Sunday in Lent
Theme: Betrayal - how do we betray Jesus?, being defined by one moment in our life, redemption
Scripture: Matthew 26:20-25, Matthew 27:3-10
Song: "Heaven on Their Minds," or "Superstar"
Character Focus: Judas

Second Sunday in Lent
Theme: Jesus as King, Jesus as one who will come and fix all of our problems. What does "savior" mean? What is the Kingdom of God?
Scripture: John 6:5-15 (A stretch - not really about Simon, but about wanting to make Jesus King by Force)
Song: Simon Zealotes
Character Focus: Simon Zealot

Third Sunday in Lent
Theme: When do we know who Jesus is, but refuse to let what we know change us, because who we think we are is more important - our own agenda is more important than God and God's agenda.
Scripture: Luke 23:1-5, Luke 23:13-25
Song: Pilate's Dream
Character Focus: Pontius Pilate

Fourth Sunday in Lent
Theme: Debunking some mythology and misconceptions about Mary Magdalene - Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and the 'sinful' woman, focusing on, in opposition to Pilate, a life that is changed because of who Jesus is: a savior.
Scripture: Luke 10:38-42, Luke 7:36-8:3, Matthew 27:55-56
Song: I Don't Know How to Love Him
Character Focus: Mary Magdalene, (and the other Mary figures)

Fifth Sunday in Lent
Theme: The "two steps forward, one step back" nature of faith, faithfulness over the long course, despite glaring examples of getting it wrong. The not-a-straight-line nature of discipleship
Scripture: Mark 8:27-37, Matthew 14:23-33, Matthew 26:31-35, Matthew 26:69-75
Song: Could We Start Again, Please?
Character Focus: Peter

Palm/Passion Sunday
Theme: The Palm and Passion Stories - no 'sermon'
Scripture: Any combination of Palm/Passion Texts
Song: Hosanna (could combine with, "This Jesus Must Die,"
Character Focus: none in particular, although could focus in on the crowds, or the high priests

Maundy Thursday
Theme: Remembering - how we remember who Jesus is, how he wants us to remember
Scripture: Any focusing on Last Supper
Song: The Last Supper and Gethsemane
Character Focus: Jesus

Good Friday
Theme: Jesus' crucifixion
Scripture: I used a Tenebrae service to replay all the scriptures we had used throughout Lent, and closed with Mark's description of the crucifixion
Song: Played The Crucifixion and John 19:41 for silent reflection
Character Focus: All

Easter Sunday
Theme: Time to answer for ourselves - who do we say that Jesus is? Why does Easter matter? Where do we go from here?
Scripture: John 20:1-18 and Mark 16:1-8, emphasis on Mark
Song: None, or Superstar
Character Focus: Us!

Other options:
"Herod's Song" and King Herod Focus
"This Jesus Must Die" and "Then We Are Decided," Annas and Caiaphas


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