During the month of March we will begin the church season of Lent. The Lenten season is the longest and perhaps the most important season in the church calendar. It is intended to be a time of spiritual preparation and renewal through repentance, prayer, and meditation on the Lord’s passion and death. Lent begins with a call for repentance on Ash Wednesday and concludes with that ultimate demonstration of God’s love on the Cross. Too often we take for granted all that God has sacrificed for us, and all that He has given us. Too often we credit ourselves for what we have and what we have accomplished, failing to remember that it is God who has given us life and every skill, gift and talent we possess. The world we live in often distracts us from what is truly important.
This year during every day of Lent, and not just on Sundays, I want to invite you to journey with me in seeking a closer relationship with our Creator, Savior and Lord. We will focus on the final week of Jesus’ life on earth, leading up to His being “Crucified” and “Glorified.” Jesus, God incarnate, humbled Himself to be “Crucified” for we the unworthy, and in doing so “Glorified” God, and redeemed all who would believe in Him from sin and death. “Crucified” and “Glorified” do not fit together in our world, but they do in God’s Kingdom.
To help us in our journey we have acquired “Crucified Glorified” devotional prayer journals for each member to use as a daily aid in seeking a closer relationship with Jesus. I have prepared a special sermon series for the Sundays of Lent which will work in harmony with the devotionals to support our journey. Handouts will also be provided each Sunday which contain questions and scripture readings that will help you go deeper. You can use this resource individually, or in small groups, or perhaps as a family gathered around the table.
However you chose to journey with God please know that you will not be alone. In the 212 prayer so many of you share each day at 2:12 pm, asking God’s will be done in and through our church, and that we be good instruments praising and glorifying God in all we do, we pray as one body. Likewise, through daily devotionals and Sunday worship we will be journeying together, preparing ourselves to be better instruments for God’s use in the world.
The following are sermon titles, which also reflect the Sunday themes for the series:
“Death and Glory” (March 10)
“Prepare and Watch” (March 17)
“Guilt and Innocence” (March 24)
“Punishment and Freedom” (March 31)
“Pain and Victory” (April 7)
“Lamb and King” (April 14)
Please encourage one another to participate in this wonderful opportunity to grow closer to God and become a better servant in ministry. God is counting on us to accomplish the great mission He has called us to undertake—making disciples for Jesus Christ of all peoples. God calls every Christian to participate in this work. God also calls every Christian to be a minister, serving a particular roll in His overall plan. Therefore, in the weeks to come, we will also be encouraging and inviting every member to join a ministry team. Opportunities will be provided for each to use their God given gifts, regardless of one’s physical or time limitations. Every role, small or large, is important because each of us will serve as a vital part of the body of Christ. May God richly bless all of us as we journey and serve together. May our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the “Crucified” be “Glorified” by all we learn and do. Amen!
Your fellow servant in Christ,