Lenten Worship Series: Wise Up!

Lenten Worship Series: Wise Up!

Lent includes 46 days leading up to Easter. Traditionally, we refer to it as the 40 days leading up to Easter because Sundays are not included in the count.  Sundays are not included because the day has long been considered the day of resurrection, which is why we worship on Sundays.
The season of Lent is about practicing disciplines that further align us with the will of God. These disciplines lead us to a deeper belief in Jesus Christ. It is by belief that we are born again in the kingdom of God.  To be born again is desire Christ more and more and nothing else leading us once again to the practice of spiritual disciplines. To learn more about the season of Lent, visit the UMC resources.

Wise Up: Growing in Wisdom for the Season of Lent is FUMC Allen’s worship series for the season of Lent. It’s based on the book, Wise Up!: Four Biblical Virtues for Navigating Life, by Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie.

About the Book

Wise Up! invites the reader to step up to the divine customer service desk and exchange self-sufficiency, self-absorption, self-indulgence, and self-protection for the four virtues of biblical wisdom:

  • The fear of the Lord (faith)
  • The listening heart (compassion)
  • The cool spirit (self-discipline)
  • The subversive voice (moral courage)

An invaluable resource for personal devotion, small group study, and sermon series, Wise Up! is a spiritual manual for navigating the twists and turns of an unpredictable life. Dr. McKenzie mines the riches of the Bible’s wisdom literature from Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, and the short sayings of the synoptic Jesus.

The result is four guiding virtues that can keep our feet from stumbling on the journey to wisdom through the thorniest of paths. McKenzie, the author of several popular books for both clergy and laity, places her profound knowledge of biblical wisdom in conversation with the absurdities, pains, and joys of our everyday lives. She invites wisdom down from the pedestal to accompany the reader on his or her daily rounds.

Reading this book, at the same time, soothes the soul and troubles the conscience. It deepens faith, fires compassion, cools destructive desires, and nudges the sleeping conscience awake.

sunday March 10

First Sunday of Lent

Wisdom: A Person and A Path!

Scripture: Proverbs 3:13-18; 4:10-14, 18; John 14:1-7

Rev. Dr. Alyce McKenzie, preaching

sunday March 17

Second Sunday of Lent

T3:: The Awestruck Attitude

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 29:25

Rev. Todd Harris, preaching

Sunday March 24

Third Sunday of Lent

Listen Up: Compassion

Scripture: 1 Kings 3: 5-28

Rev. Jessica Wright, preaching

Sunday March 31

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Cool Off: Self-Discipline

Scripture: Proverbs 12:1, 17:27, 25:28

Rev. Todd Harris, preaching

Sunday April 7

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Speak Out: Moral Courage

Scripture: Matthew 7: 24-29

Rev. Abe Smith, preaching

about the author

Alyce M. McKenzie is the Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. A sought after speaker and a prolific author, she is the director of the Perkins Center for Preaching Excellence at SMU.

“Dr. McKenzie has given us a powerful reading of wisdom literature. Rich in resources for reaching a twenty-first-century audience, she invites us to return our bad purchases–self-sufficiency, self-absorption, self-indulgence, and self-protection–and exchange them for faith, compassion, self-discipline, and outspoken courage. The ideas of this book will preach.”  –Scott Jones, Bishop of the Texas Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, author of The Wesleyan Way: A Faith that Matters

“Wise Up! is a gold mine of compelling stories, accessible exegesis, and insights from practical theology. Alyce McKenzie shows us just what we need: a renewed awe before the Holy, a listening heart, spiritual discipline, and the courage to speak subversive truth. A wonderful resource!”  –Carolyn J. Sharp, Professor of Homiletics, Yale Divinity School

“Dr. Alyce M. McKenzie has shaped a generation of preachers, equipping us faithfully to proclaim God’s truth afresh weekly in pulpits across America and the world. With Wise Up! she offers a work that will inspire individual faith, small group encounter with Scripture, and profound sermons.”  –Michael W. Waters, award-winning author and founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle A.M.E. Church in Dallas, Texas

“Wise Up! points the way to a much-needed divine exchange policy. It shows us that it’s entirely possible to swap out the destructive items that don’t enhance our lives and instead cash in for virtues that allow us to be shaped by God’s wisdom. We are starved for this kind of clear, compelling wisdom that takes our current condition seriously and our possible future joyfully.”  –Jessica LaGrone, Dean of Chapel, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Dr. Alyce McKenzie is one of the world’s leading scholars of biblical wisdom literature. In this brilliant work, she starts with the Socratic question about how to live life well, and proceeds to unpack the ‘four wisdom virtues’ of the Old Testament as a response to that question. The result is a fascinating book that is both deep and enjoyable.”  –Don Underwood, Senior Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church, Plano, Texas