2019 Lenten Worship
March 6: Ash Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. • Blessed Are You • Matthew 5:1-11
As We Gather: We who are poor in spirit, who mourn, and who hunger and thirst for righteousness are called blessed by our Savior in his Sermon on the Mount. Ash Wednesday reminds us that though we have been brought low by sin, our Lord will bless us with new life in him through the cross.
First Reading: Joel 2:12-19; Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:1-10; Gospel: Matthew 5:1-11
Sunday, March 10: Salt and Light • Matthew 5:13-16
As We Gather: Christ calls us to be salt and light in this world of sin. We who have tasted and seen his great love for us on the cross can spend our Lent savoring his salvation and shining with his glory and grace in the places where he has put us.
First Reading: Micah 6:6-8; Second Reading: Ephesians 5:1-8; Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Wednesday, March 13, 7:15 p.m. No yoU-Turns Allowed: No Side Trips.
As We Gather: Jesus is a threat to Satan’s hold on people. Where Satan often has success in tempting us to go in directions we should not go in, tempting Jesus ended in failure. Jesus was not hungry for what Satan had to offer, and because of His victory, He is all the food we need as he turns us in the direction of our Father. Reading: Luke 4:1-13
Sunday, March 17: Prayer and Fasting • Matthew 6:5-18
As We Gather: Lent is a season of prayer and fasting. We grow in our relationship with Christ by communicating with him, and we learn more about him and ourselves by giving up those things that can distract us from our connection to him.
First Reading: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24; Gospel: Matthew 6:5-18
Wednesday, March 20, 7:15 p.m. No yoU-Turns Allowed: One Way Only
As We Gather: According to the world’s wisdom, the way to be successful and respected is by doing something great and wonderful. We follow that way and imagine big things for ourselves, even if it means sacrificing family, friends, and faith in God to get what we want. Like a mother hen loves her wayward chick, Jesus wants to protect us from the temptations of the enemy by placing us under the protection of his wings. Are you willing to surrender and let Jesus be your protection? Reading: Luke 13:31-35
Sunday, March 24: Do Not Worry • Matthew 6:25-34
As We Gather: So much of our lives, even in Lent, is spent worrying about what might happen or what has happened. Christ teaches us to stop being anxious, but simply to trust that he knows what is best and will take care of us to the very end.
First Reading: Isaiah 41:8-13; Second Reading: Philippians 4:5-7; Gospel: Matthew 6:25-34
Wednesday, March 27, 7:15 p.m. No yoU-Turns Allowed: Fruitless Path
As We Gather: The purpose of a fruit tree is to bear fruit. If it doesn’t, it has lost its purpose and reason to exist. As defiant fruit trees, we have every opportunity to bear fruit, but we refuse. God’s Word declares, “change your ways, or perish.” The reward for sin is death, but the gift of God is Christ Jesus our Lord, who nourishes us with His life, and as we abide in Him, we bear fruit that will last. Reading: Luke 13:1-9
Sunday, March 31: Judge Not • Matthew 7:1-5
As We Gather: We live in a very judgmental world, so Jesus’ advice not to judge sounds radical to our modern ears. When we leave all judgment up to God, we free ourselves to look at one another through fresh and forgiving eyes.
First Reading: Isaiah 11:2-4; Second Reading: Romans 2:1-11; Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Wednesday, April 3, 7:15 p.m. No yoU-Turns Allowed: Take off the Disguise
As We Gather: The younger son lost his disguise in a pig-pen, only to return home to find his older brother still wearing one. Lost in obedience to the rules he worshipped, the older brother saw himself as no longer a son, but a slave wearing the disguise of a son. Your heavenly Father knows exactly who you are. Let Jesus help you take the disguise off.
Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Sunday, April 7: Build on Rock • Matthew 7:24-27
As We Gather: We build our lives on very shaky foundations, and then we are surprised when things start collapsing. Jesus reminds us in his teachings that the only solid foundation is himself, the Rock of our salvation. On him alone we build.
First Reading: Isaiah 51:1-3; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:10-15; Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Wednesday, April 10, 7:15 p.m. No yoU-Turns Allowed: It’s Not Our Vineyard.
As We Gather: We need to be reminded often that this is the Lord’s Vineyard. Those who work the ground are only caretakers. The Father has sent His Son to a world that refuses to recognize who He is, and they crucified Him. Isn’t it amazing to discover that this was the Father’s plan all along? Reading: Luke 20:9-20