The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday
Watch this video from Chuck Knows Church to remember what Lent is all about!
Watch this video from Chuck Knows Church to remember what Lent is all about!
The season of Lent is here, which brings up the age old question, “What does that means for us?” First, the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, and then is followed by the 40 days leading up to Easter – – not counting Sundays. This is symbolic to help us remember the 40 days that Jesus was tempted in the desert.
Many times people associate Lent with having to give up something (like desserts, coffee, etc.) for these 40 days to help focus on the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us. But instead of giving up, you can also choose to focus on “getting up”: get up and grab your bible each day and commit to a devotional time; get up and go join a bible study, or get up and grab your walking shoes and commit to a healthier life style. Lent should NOT be all about our great sacrifice or our great positive change. Instead, Lent should be about putting our focus on the one who sacrificed it all for us.
At Hope UMC, the worship theme for Lent with be based on “The God We Can Know,” starting this Sunday, Feb. 22nd through Easter. There are also two small group Lenten studies that you are welcome to join: one is starting at the Poky Center this Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m., and the other is at the Plover Center beginning on Monday, also at 9:00 a.m.
Lenten Luncheons will also begin on February 25th. The Luncheons will begin at 12:00 noon and will be finished at 1:00 (for those who need to return to work). We will gather, share the mediation, then eat so that people can stay and fellowship at their leisure. The luncheons are a major source of funding for the Pocahontas County Ministerial Account for Benevolence. This is an ecumenical effort to BE the church in this county.
The luncheon schedule is:
If you need a way to explain what Lent is to someone, share this Chuck Knows Church clip: 🙂
So, what’s in it for us? A personal Lord and Savior, who provides a wonderful example! It’s pretty hard to beat that! <><
As Pastor Jerry continues his series based on “The Way: Following in the Footsteps of Jesus” by Adam Hamilton, we learned about being instruments of God’s healings. What’s that all about? Back to that in a bit….
He began by pointing out the obvious….The reality is that when you live in a small town, it is pretty hard to remain anonymous! Everyone seems to know everyone’s business. The same was true back in Jesus’ day. Jesus’ first sermon was in his small home town of Nazareth, where he was scorned and rejected (not to mentioned almost killed!). How heart breaking that must have been for him, as it was the foreshadow of what was to come. He then walked 24 miles to the town of Capernaum, which would become the home base for his ministry for the next three years. It was here that a demon-possessed man confronted Jesus as he was teaching in the temple. Jesus cast the demon out, and healed the man’s loneliness and isolation. This was something Jesus understood first-hand after his rejection in his home town.
It was here in Capernaum that Jesus performed many of his miracles and healed hundreds of people. Which gets us back to the point of being instruments of God’s healing. “What??” you say, “I’m not a doctor!” We don’t need to be. He is the great physician, and will use us, if we only let him. He beautifully modeled this with the story in Mark 2: 1-5, when friends carried a paralyzed man to Jesus in the hopes he would be healed. When they got to the house where Jesus was staying, there were so many people they could not get in. These committed friends were not daunted or discouraged, so they simply went to plan B. They decided to carry him to the roof, where they would make a hole big enough to lower their friend down through, so he could see Jesus. And the key point from this story is not that Jesus healed the paralytic, but that he healed him because of the faith of his friends! They believed and intervened on his behalf! And Jesus healed their friend. I think there’s a lesson there for us! 🙂
Which brings us back to the title of this post…whose “stretcher-bearer” are you? We all need them… those friends who will carry us in our times of need. They are willing to pick us up and take off the roof, to get the job done. Thank heavens for faithful friends like that! So, whose stretcher-bearer” have you been? Who have you helped “carry” through a difficult time? What steps are you willing to take to help get them to the feet of Jesus so they can live abundantly, when they don’t have the strength to do it on their own? Think about that this Lenten season. Someone needs you more than you know!
Our church is studying the book, “The Way: Walking in the footsteps of Jesus”by Adam Hamilton during this Lenten season. Pastor Jerry’s sermon this past Sunday highlighted the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry, where Jesus would not only be tempted and tested, but also strengthened for his purpose.
But first, let’s review what Lent is…. it is the 40 days prior to Easter (not including Sundays) that is a season of repentance and a time for us to drawer closer to God. It is a time for us to prepare for the blessings of Good Friday and Easter morning. Jesus showed us – – by His example – – that it IS possible to overcome temptation and the messiness of our lives.
Jesus’ public ministry began when he went to his cousin John (yes, the one and only John the Baptist) and asked to be baptized. It’s important to note that even though Jesus was sinless, he was baptized for our sake; not his. Then Jesus went to the wilderness for the next 40 days to fast and pray. And this is where the tempted, tested, and strengthened part comes in…
What was emphasized from this teaching, was that each of us face our own wilderness – – metaphorically – – when our lives feel empty like barren lands and we wrestle with evil, hurt, and doubt. But even in our wilderness, we are not alone; God is ever present with us! He is there to guide us, if we only listen to His still small voice.
Jesus was tempted by Satan, first by food, then by fame, and last by power. More importantly, not only was Jesus being tempted, he was also being tested… to see if he would remain steadfast. Thank heaven He did! And this strengthened his resolve, and should likewise do the same for us. We can do just anything through Christ who strengthens us!
As we walk in Jesus’ footsteps for the remainder of Lent, what wilderness are you currently wandering in? What temptations are you wrestling with? Remember, Jesus has shown us the way, and he was willing to die for us to prove it!
Lent Small Group Study & Worship
Starting this Sunday, Feb. 2nd, you will have the opportunity to indicate your interest to participate in this year’s Lenten study in a small group or indicate your interest to purchase the book and/or devotional book.
Travel with Adam Hamilton as he retraces the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Once again, Adam approaches his subject matter with thoughtfulness and wisdom, just like he did with Jesus’ birth in The Journey. Read The Way on your own or, for a more in-depth study, enjoy it with a small group or part of a 40-day church wide emphasis during Lent.
Using video, historical information, archaeological data, and stories of the faith, Adam follows in the footsteps of Jesus from his baptism to the temptation to the heart of his ministry, including the people he loved, the parables he taught and the healing he brought.
This 40-day focus will help you grow deeper in your faith, learn more about the life of Christ, and spend time daily reading and reflecting upon the Scriptures. The chapters are:
Prologue: John the Baptist and Jesus
1. Baptism and Temptation / The Jordan River and the Wilderness
2. The Healing Ministry / Capernaum
3. Proclaiming the Kingdom / The Mountains
4. Calming the Storm / The Sea of Galilee
5. Sinners, Outcasts, and the Poor / Samaria
6. The Final Week / Jerusalem
Epilogue: Your Defining Story
Please pray about your participation in this Lent Small Group study and Worship opportunity March 9 thru April 13. You will be able to indicate your interest in using these materials during the first couple weeks in February so we can order the books and devotionals and have them here to use in March.
You can either call the church office to order materials &/or sign up for a small group OR you can use the “CONTACT US” tab at the top.
Let’s walk in the footsteps of Jesus together.