2018 Lent and Easter Services

2018 Lent and Easter Services

Our Lenten Journey 2018

“Simply Jesus”

Today we begin the season of Lent. Lent lasts from Ash Wednesday to the Saturday before Easter. Not counting Sundays that’s 40 days. The Lenten season provides us with a special opportunity to draw near to Jesus by meditating on His death in our place and His resurrection from the grave. In that sense, the whole Lenten season is building towards Good Friday and Easter.
This year our theme is “Simply Jesus.” Each week we will be looking at different events from the life and ministry of Jesus. In some ways the cultural context in which Jesus lived was vastly different than ours today. My prayer for us is that each one of us will learn to see Jesus with new eyes as we encounter Him in the pages of Scripture. He is not merely a historical figure to be studied but He is risen and present with His people right now.
May we all learn to be more like Mary who set aside all the distractions of life and “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said” (Luke 10:39).
During this season you will notice the artwork of John Swanson on our bulletin covers, projection screens and website. John’s art is about “bringing stories to life” and helping the church to “see the sacred in the ordinary.” I pray that these works of art will help us to see familiar things in new ways. Art is a gift from the Lord and I hope you find these pictures engaging and edifying.
You will also notice that our catechism children will be participating in our Sunday services during Lent. They’ll be greeting us at the door when we arrive, opening our services by carrying in God’s Word and reading Scripture and the catechism before the sermon. God has blessed us with so many wonderful young people and it has been a joy to see their eagerness to engage in what God is doing here at Ebenezer.
As you come to worship each week during Lent, you will notice that certain aspects of our liturgy will be repeated each week. We will hear the same call to worship, the same greeting, the same words of confession and assurance, we’ll repeat the same creed and we’ll receive the same parting blessing. This repetition is intentional. As we hear these powerful words each week I pray that the Lord will plant them deep down in our souls so that we are not just hearing them with our ears but that our lives are being transformed by the power of God.
Finally, I don’t think words can adequately express what a joy and an honor it is for me to serve as your pastor on this Lenten journey with you. May the Lord bless and transform each one of us this season as we journey towards the cross and the empty tomb together! Amen.

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