Journeying to Shalom with the Prophets

A Lenten Sermon Series
During Lent, we take special care to ready our hearts for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Similarly, the prophets called God’s people Israel to prepare for God’s coming. Throughout the books of the prophets, we see a vision of what God’s kingdom looks like—a vision that could be summed up by the word shalom. More than just the absence of violence, shalom is the holistic flourishing of all of God’s creation. We look toward Easter and recognize that shalom is only possible because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. So this Lent, we look at what the prophets had to say about shalom—sometimes stark warnings, sometimes beautiful visions—in the hope that we might arrive at Easter ready to receive God’s shalom in the resurrection.


First Sunday of Lent

Looking for Shalom in All the Wrong Places

Text: Jeremiah 8:4–5, 8–11

Sermon Notes
Jeremiah had tough words for the people of Israel. They were acting in wickedness and self-destruction but did not want to be told that they were in the wrong. Isn’t that a message for us today? We prefer comfortable lies rather than painful truth. True shalom requires repentance in light of the (sometimes uncomfortable) truth.

Song Ideas
Song of the Prophets” Morgan, LUYH 53
Come to the Savior Now” Wigner, LUYH 613

Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers” Reed, LUYH 617, GtG 407, SSS 571
Create in Me a Clean Heart” Bannister
Lord, I Need You” Maher


Second Sunday of Lent

Rest in the Wilderness

Text: Isaiah 32:1–8, 14–18

Sermon Notes
God promises that wicked, oppressive leaders will have no place in his kingdom. When God pours out the Spirit, we see justice prevail and the wilderness burst to life with new growth. Shalom allows God’s people to rest.

Song Ideas
Jesus Is a Rock in a Weary Land” Spiritual, LUYH 138
Jesus, Lover of My Soul” Wesley, LUYH 424, GtG 440, SSS 552 & 553
Beneath the Cross of Jesus” Clephane, LUYH 167, GtG 216, SSS 166

Deliverance is a Song of Peace” Partain
When We See Your Face” Kauflin and Kauflin

Lord, You Hear the Cry (Lord, Have Mercy)” Latty


Third Sunday of Lent

Shalom that Draws

Text: Zechariah 8:14–22

Sermon Notes
God does not let wickedness stand, but God is also eager to bless. When God’s people “render verdicts . . . that lead to peace” (NLT) and exhibit virtue, they become a light to their neighbors.

Song Ideas
Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns” Beddome, LUYH 261
In the Day of the Lord” Ridge, LUYH 485
Sing to the Lord, Sing His Praise” Wesley, LUYH 515

O Jerusalem” Porter’s Gate
Spirit, Break Out” Bryant
As We Seek (Hallelujah)” Red Rocks Worship


Fourth Sunday of Lent

Brought Together to Dwell with God

Text: Ezekiel 37:21–28

Sermon Notes
The people of Israel had gone into exile, but God will gather them back together. God will create a covenant of shalom with them. God will dwell with God’s people, and all nations will know that God is ruler of all.

Song Ideas
O God of Every Nation” Reid, LUYH 282, GtG 756
For the Healing of the Nations” Kaan, LUYH 289, GtG 346

Canto de esperanza / Song of Hope” Mitchell et al., LUYH 941, GtG 765, SSS 721
Gather Us In” Haugen, LUYH 529, GtG 401, SSS 393

The Earth Shall Know” Bailey et al.
All Glory Be to Christ” Kensrue


Fifth Sunday of Lent

Astonishing Shalom

Text: Isaiah 55:1–13

Sermon Notes
Shalom is good news! Food and drink flow freely; all who hunger are satisfied. God’s people lift their eyes from wickedness to see how God’s ways transcend earthly standards. When God’s people live in joy and peace, it’s not just good news for people. Even the earth rejoices!

Song Ideas
All Who Are Thirsty” Perry, LUYH 807
Send Your Word, O Lord” Imakoma, LUYH 767
Table of Plenty” Schutte, LUYH 808

Speak, O Lord” Getty and Townend, LUYH 755, SSS 561
Come As You Are” Glover et al.

We Will Feast” McCracken and Moore, SSS 370


Palm Sunday

True Humility

Text: Zechariah 9:9–10

Sermon Notes
The Israelites were wondering how they would ever be a prosperous nation again. God promised that he would send them a king, but this king would be humble and destroy the weapons of war. On Palm Sunday, Jesus embodied this prophecy by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. On Good Friday, in what seemed like a defeat, he disarmed death itself.

Song Ideas
Ride On, Ride On in Majesty” Milman, LUYH 149, GtG 198
Rejoice, O Zion’s Daughter” Stuempfle, LUYH 151
At the Name of Jesus” Noel, LUYH 220, GtG 264, SSS 657
Humble” Assad
Jesus Messiah” Tomlin et al.
Joy to Be” Eichelberger and Bolen

Hilary Ritchie is the minister for worship and the arts at Hope Church in Richfield, Minnesota. She is passionate about the intersection of worship, history, theology, and the arts.

Reformed Worship 150 © December 2023 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.