We will continue our tradition of placing flowers on the cross outside the Sanctuary. We invite you to stop by anytime Saturday afternoon or Sunday.
Please send any family photos of the cross to firstname.lastname@example.org
This service will include Communion.
Supplies needed: bread and grape juice or wine.
Optional items: candles to extinguish at home along with the service.
This Lent we are focusing on our need for repentance. Repentance is more than being sorry, it's about physically changing the direction of our lives. Jesus invites everyone he encounters ,including us, to turn around and experience life with him. We hope you will join us as we turn from judgment, from blaming others, from fear, and from being disengaged and turn instead to the life and calling Jesus has for us.
If you would like to receive the weekly Lenten Email Devotional please email Gloria to put your email on the list.
Week 1 Lent Devotional
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139: 23-24
This year our journey of Lent is focused on the theme:Turning Around. To turn around is the Biblical definition of the word repentance. In English that word means regretting or expressing remorse over something, but to Biblical writers repentance meant action: Changing our mind and our purpose; turning around 180 degrees; heading in the opposite direction; leaving behind sins that cling to us and hold us back from experiencing the life Jesus has for us.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us add faith onto who we have already decided that we are. Faith in Jesus gives us a sense of comfort and security. But as I read the Gospels, I am struck by how often Jesus’ encounters with people leave them uncomfortable, disturbed, and radically changed. As we enter into this journey and season of Lent, I invite you to be prepared to get a little uncomfortable. The way of Jesus is about transformation, challenge, preparation, and stepping out in courage.
So, this week I invite you to examine your heart. Are you ready for that? Do you long to become new? And are you willing to turn around and see Jesus’ invitation to life with him? I promise you it won’t be easy, but I think it will be pretty exciting. I know it will be worth it.
Week 2 Lent Devotional
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Life is a journey. Sometimes things move fast, other times slow. Sometimes we feel like we are headed somewhere and other times we feel completely lost, we wonder how we got here? Regardless of the road we have taken or where we currently find ourselves God promises that he will be with us. As he was with the Israelites through each step of their journey through the wilderness, God is with us regardless of whether we are walking towards him or running in the other direction. This season, our hope is that you would become more aware of the path you are walking and where it is leading you. Is it somewhere you want to go? Somewhere that will lead to fulfillment and joy? Or do you know it won’t and yet you don’t know how to charge course?
This week I invite you to think about where you are headed. Are you running at a breaking neck speed that leads to burn out? Are you spiraling towards a hole that will be hard to climb out of? Are you just wandering about, lost and afraid? Where does this path lead 5, 10, 20 years from now? And is that where you want to be? To each of us, regardless of our current orientation, Jesus invites us to turn around. To turn into his way, and truth and life. The only life that can bring real joy and purpose. Do you want that?
Week 3 Lent Devotional
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Lent is long---six weeks long. There is no way to speed things up. Most of us like to move fast. We walk fast, eat fast, drive fast. We are constantly on the move, trying to get more done in as little time as possible. But the way of Jesus is slow. That’s why we refer to our faith as a walk. How is your walk with God going these days? Do you feel worn out? Overtired? Beat down? Or do you feel God’s renewing presence at work in your life? Remember: That’s the life into which God is inviting us.
Sometimes we get frustrated by the slowness of God’s work in our lives. We want the quick fix. We want the vending machine relationship: deposit good deeds and get salvation, or deposit prayers and get answers. But there are no shortcuts to the cross. Learning to follow Jesus takes time. Turning our lives around is, like Lent, not a short process. It’s messy and full of missteps. However, time is something we have during this season. So, use this time well. Find the time to sit in silence with God. Be in prayer. Read His Word. Learn the unhurried rhythms of grace at work in and around us. Easter isn’t coming any faster. We have the time. Let’s make the most of it.
Week 4 Lent Devotional
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
To follow Jesus, we have to be willing to go where he leads. Now, this is hard because we like to be in control. We like to know what the future will bring. We like to have a plan. We like to be prepared. But as life has taught all of us in this season, we can never be prepared for everything. And that doesn’t mean we need to try harder; this actually means we have the freedom to let go. We must let God, who is never caught off guard, actually be the one who guides and directs our life. He is in charge. However, to trust that and to live that takes incredible courage. We need the courage to step out onto the unknown path on which God leads us. We may not know where it leads, but we have this promise that wherever it is, wherever we go, God will be with us. God is with us.
So, you can hold tight to what you know, to what you see, to what’s your way, or what’s right in front of you. Or you can leap into the arms of a God who will catch you. Turn around, turn to him. God is good--- even now.
Week 5 Lent Devotional
"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;
Acts 3: 19
I wish I could explain this better to my friends who don’t believe. I wish I had more words to express what it is like to experience the presence of Jesus. The peace, joy and hope overwhelm me. Even when the world is crazy outside my door, inside myself, all is right in the world.
We don’t like to admit when we are wrong. We don’t want to accept defeat. We don’t want to tell God that we need him because we have failed on our own. We don’t want to admit that our best efforts led to a dead end. This is not easy. Yet, our admission brings with it, life, renewal, and the presence of God that sustains us and frees us. This is the feeling that is so hard to explain but so amazing to experience.
Lent is a time for introspection, a time to look at where we’ve been wrong and where our lives have gone wrong. And it is an opportunity to experience forgiveness and grace. We don’t have to be stuck in our dead ends any longer. Jesus wants to refresh us and give us life abundant now. All we have to do is ask, seek, knock, and the door will be opened. Do we trust in the promises of Jesus? Do we believe that life is truly better with Him? I do. I’ve seen it. My hope is that you will see it too.
Week 6 Lent Devotional
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Holy Week was a confusing time for the Disciples. When Jesus entered into Jerusalem, the crowds praised him as King. But a few days later he would be betrayed, beaten, and crucified. The Disciples thought they were confronting yet another dead end. Yet what looked like an ending to them, God made a path for the Disciples. Not even death was too big of an obstacle for God.
There are no obstacles or missteps in our own lives that are too big for God. Even when the Disciples didn’t understand, even when many deserted and even denied Jesus, he died for them. He died for us also. We are God’s holy and dearly loved children, not because of what we have done or not done, but because of Christ’s love for us.
As we walk into this Holy Week, and as we continue to navigate this strange new world, let us remember who we are--- children of God. May we live that out, as people clothed, not in fear, failure, or frustration, but people clothed in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience and above all love. Love gave us new life. And love is what we are called to give to this world.
As we prepare to celebrate Easter in very different ways this year, let us remember what hasn’t changed. We are forgiven; we are loved; we are called to be in Christ’s kingdom here and now.