Contemplative worship at 7:00 pm
Streaming on our YouTube channel
As we begin this Lent season, we contemplate the essence and the substance of our lives. Do we spend time reaching for “must have’s” that our culture says we need? Or are we storing up the things that bring us closer to the reign of God, the good things–the treasures–that fill us and others with well-being of body, mind and spirit.
Lent is often known as a time of giving something up in order to make room in our lives for spiritual pursuits. Rather than just “giving up” in Lent, this season, the scriptures ask us to consider all that Jesus is “up to” and all that he asks us to be up to in his name. What pursuits are we up to in our lives that call us to be our best selves, and our best selves as the church?
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” - Mark 8: 31-38
Daily devotions can help us deepen our understanding of how God is calling us.
Each week, in the Saturday email, you'll receive a copy of devotions for the coming week.
Material for our Lenten theme has been adapted from materials developed by Marcia McFee at the Worship Design Studio
Worship Services, Sundays at 10:45 am,
streaming on our YouTube channel
The first Sunday of this series brings us to the moment at which Jesus comes up out of the waters of baptism to hear, “You are my beloved.” We are called to come up out of the depths of whatever seeks to keep us under and know that we are beloved of God. Come up, for now is the time to be fully who you are created to be for the sake of the world.
Jesus was very clear that following him might not be a smooth ride. He was bound to choose the just way, not the easy way, through life. To take up the cross was to lose one’s life–to let go of certain expectations of safety and acceptance in order to stand for the Gospel message of love. How are we to take up the causes of Jesus -- justice, righteousness and mercy -- in our day?
Verse 16 is probably one of the most infamous and oft-quoted scripture in the Bible. What follows that verse is important for our Lenten journey. God did not send Jesus to condemn the world, but to offer it saving light. As believers in that light, we are called to be those who will continue to light up the world through our lives so that the world might see the hope it yearns for.
The story of Jesus’ response to the temple being made into a marketplace was profound and may have been another step toward his ultimate demise on the cross. He refers to raising up a new temple in three days–something his disciples later remembered as a foretelling of his resurrection. How might we raise up as the Body of Christ and be a holy temple–a holy dwelling place of God–in the world?
“When nothing else would help, love lifted me!” says the old Gospel song. To be lifted up is to be drawn into the love of God. Jesus drew all kinds of people to him during his short tenure on earth, drawing no boundaries for who was invited into that love. As his hour to die drew nearer, he spread the message that all things would be enveloped in his love even after he was gone. What uplifting message will John 12:20-33