Lenten Theme Idea

From the Open Files of:

NW Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center (715) 833-1153

Contributed by

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Ashland, WI.

Verily truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain;
but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24 (NRSV)

The truth expressed by this scripture verse became the theme for our Lenten Worship one year. We used flower bulbs to illustrate the theme.

We used them in two ways.

  • Used as real bulbs to watch what grows from what seemed like a dead seed on Ash Wednesday to become beautiful flowers on Easter morning.
  • Used them as a bulletin cover. A local artist drew the bulbs in various stages of growth and we watched them go from death to growth to life.

For Ash Wed., lay the bulbs in trays. Put in entry way so people can view them as they come to worship. Leave the bulbs the same for the next Sun. Use the same bulletin cover on Sunday as on Ash Wed. The following Wed. put the bulbs in water, again the same for the next Sun.

Place fluorescent light bulbs above the bulbs, they will soon show green growing roots.

After a couple of weeks, the bulbs are planted in soil and will continue to grow.

The goal is to have blooming flowers for Easter. Regulate the light as a way to time the growth. Ask a resource person to help with this in the congregation.

We found that it is hard to buy bulbs at the time they are wanted, so it is good to make plans to do this in the fall when the bulbs are in the stores. We also found it difficult to regulate the light in such a way that everything bloomed at the right time!

Those that bloomed when we wanted them to, were placed in the front of the church for Easter worship, with other blooming plants purchased by members of the congregation, and displayed on a cross that was built for that purpose.

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