On Ash Wednesday, February 13, many Christians will observe the season of Lent. For the 40 days before Easter, we will journey together through various expressions of devotion and worship. It is a season that encourages believers to focus on and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is both a time of deep solitude and a time of deep community. In the regular practices of repentance, prayer, scripture reading, and fasting we not only remember our great need for the salvation Christ purchased for us but look forward to his finished work in us. There are numerous practical ways we may consider how to reflect these truths through our daily lives from the way we think about food to serving those in need. However, the challenge is to increasingly discover what it means to share life in Christ together as a body before a broken world not simply as individuals.
Whether you are only beginning to follow Jesus, or have been a Christian for quite some time, Lent is a perfect season to allow God to shape your life around the cross and empty tomb of Christ in fresh ways.
This season, let us consider the theme of God’s relentless pursuit of sinners. Because he pursues sinners, died, and was raised to life again, what does this mean for us? How should we respond?
This theme will be echoed through the ‘Lost and Found’ parables of Jesus as we continue in our Gospel of Luke sermon series. We’ll also have select scripture readings, hymns and other special elements to enhance our worship experience during Lent. Every Sunday we want to celebrate and live out the collision of our great need for salvation and God’s generous gift of salvation every week.
CONSIDER THESE 2 PRACTICES DURING LENT
We want to encourage you to consider the practice of giving something up during lent again this year, perhaps television, dessert, eating out, or whatever the lord directs you to do. Our hope in fasting is that it will direct you to long for God more than the things of this world, the things you think give you life. While you fast be reminded of Jesus’ suffering for us, the denial of his own rights, comfort and life for our sake and the glory of God. This ought to prompt us to pray for those who do not know him in our lives, perhaps reach out to them all the more and when appropriate a chance to hear the gospel.
As we continually think about Jesus’ sacrifice for us this season, our hearts should be stirred toward gratitude. During lent, consider how you, your family and our church family might give more extravagantly in worship to our savior, who gave his life for us.
SCRIPTURE READINGS TO REFLECT ON
As you read, listen for what speaks to you. What areas of insight or interest do you find? Choose a single area of insight from your readings and write a short reflection on it, including a written prayer at the end.
Ash Wednesday Joel 2:1-2, 12-17, Isaiah 58:1-12, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
First Sunday in Lent Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16 Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13
Second Sunday in Lent Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18, Philippians 3:17-4:1, Luke 13:31-35, Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a)
Third Sunday in Lent Isaiah 55:1-9, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9
Fourth Sunday in Lent Joshua 5:9-12, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Fifth Sunday in Lent Isaiah 43:16-21, Philippians 3:4b-14, John 12:1-8
Sixth Sunday in Lent Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 22:14-23:56, Luke 23:1-49
2/13 Ash Wednesday
3/17 Congregational Fast
3/29 Good Friday Worship Service
3/31 Easter Worship Service, Baptisms, & LoveFeast