This time of year is an especially important one in terms of our faith. No, I’m not talking about having faith that we won’t have to pay any extra on our income taxes. I’m talking about the important season of Lent. Lent has been observed for dozens of centuries by Jesus’ followers as a way of examining whether or not their lives mirror Jesus’ own life as it is described in the gospels. Many newer churches have abandoned Lent because they believe people are more interested in being joyful in church life than they are in thinking about the cost of being Jesus’ disciple. I think it’s more spiritually grounding to spend some time asking ourselves whether or not the life we live is really the life of one of Jesus’ followers.
I’m excited about the materials we’re going to use this year. On Wednesday nights in Lent, February 17th to March 16th, we will be showing a video series called “The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus.” Filmed in the Holy Land, this series by Adam Hamilton will take us to the places Jesus walked and confront us with the realities he faced as he tried to announce the Kingdom of God. We will show the series as part of a time of worship after dinner. Make sure you plan to be there. Secondly, the Sunday sermons this year during Lent will also focus on specific encounters Jesus had with certain people on his long road to the cross. The series is called “Seven Moments that Changed History.” I will be preaching on the impact of Jesus’ healings, the risks he took in the confrontations he had with powerful leaders, and the lives he changed by both challenging people to live godly lives and offering them the grace they needed to do it successfully. My hope this year is that through the music, the videos, the discussions, the scripture readings and the reflection we do, you will be challenged to move forward in faith in new ways. If you have any questions or want to know more, feel free to contact me. God bless you all through this important season of our faith journey.