Lenten Worship 2023

(Note: This year, Zion’s will return to the Worship Design Studio and the work of Dr. Marcia McFee for our special Lenten worship. It will focus upon love as Dr. McFee describes below.)

By Marcia McFee

The Christian scriptures offer many images of where love, grace, forgiveness, righteousness, and healing can be found. And it is not in the “usual” places. Isn’t it equally true for us today as it was of the scriptural authors? Don’t we often look for wholeness and happiness in places that offer only temporary “good feelings” and satisfaction?

Lent is a wonderfully reflective time to reassess where we are searching for meaning and purpose. This year, we will move through stories of Jesus to find out who offers the “real deal.”"All we need is love!"

Well, there may be some other things we need, but certainly we humans can feel when love is in short supply. And we know when the rhetoric of our world dishes out quite the opposite, as it is in this moment. There is a “hole” we feel when we aren’t experiencing enough love. We start to try to fill the hole with…what? So much distracts us from the depth of substantive love that really lasts, that really satisfies. Relationships, money, technology, and possessions are all necessary parts of life.

However, we often become so over-focused and over-reliant (obsessed, and not in a good way) on them that, after a while, we are left feeling empty, and the hole remains.Like Scrabble letters that just aren’t coming together to spell out anything of worth, we sometimes cobble together things we think will make sense out of our lives, only to be disappointed.

Each week of the Lenten series, we will feature a kind of love that Jesus exemplifies. Through this Lenten series, we will explore the places where love and life-giving connection can really be found.


Dr. Marcia McFee is a professor, worship designer, author, preacher, and ritual artist. Drawing on a first career in professional dance and musical theater and equipped with a Master's in Theology and a PhD in Liturgical Studies and Ethics, she understands the role of any worship artist in the church as that of creating extraordinary portals through which communities journey with the Spirit. Dr. McFee has been known for creating deeply meaningful and memorable worship for over 25 years.