Lent

Important Dates:
2/13 Ash Wednesday
3/17 Corporate Fast
3/29 Good Friday Worship Service
3/31 Easter Worship Service, Baptisms, & LoveFeast

Lenten Preaching Schedule:
2/3 Luke 14:25-35
2/10 Luke 15:1-7
2/17 Luke 15:8-10
2/24 Minor Prophets
3/3 Luke 15:11-32
3/10 Luke 16:1-13
3/17 Luke 16:19-31
3/24 Luke 17:1-10
3/31 Luke 17:11-19

Introduction
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.

We began out Lenten journey together last month as well as a new lunar year. Both these special seasons beg for us to consider what we have been doing with our time and what are those things that we celebrate? Lent is meant to be lived out. Everything that you believe in as a disciple of Jesus Christ can find full expression during this time. 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 at 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.

Because God pursues us…we find freedom to live for better things in a world that is broken beyond repair. Have you been pursuing things that are life-giving or do you continue to perpetuate the brokenness, isolation, or bondage to the dehumanizing effects of sin? We are soon to celebrate the passion of our crucified Lord. Let us continue to look at the cross that sets us free and puts all things into perspective. Paul reminds us with these words in Galatians 6:14 “But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Therefore, pursue the cross. Pursue life. Pursue people.

 Consider These 2 Practices During Lent
Fasting:
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.

Giving:
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 15:1-2, 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

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