It seems like just yesterday that the Christmas decorations were put away and life got back to “normal”. It hardly seems possible that Lent and Easter are just a few weeks away. And yet, here we are again, getting ready to enter into the time of the year that calls us first to examine our own lives and sin and need for God and then to rejoice again in being saved by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus from our sin. All year, we have been focused outward as we consider how we can be of service to others but Lent calls us to spend some time looking inward. I sometimes consider this time of year the time for Christians to consider what needs to be changed in their lives, instead of the beginning of the new year. We don’t, however, stay in this inwardly gazing mode for long, but are called to acts of service and love. We once again dedicate ourselves to the disciplines of a follower of Christ: study, prayer, worship, giving and acts of service.
Each year, it is our practice to choose a focus for Lent that ties in with our theme of the year. This year is no different. As we gather in small groups and worship, as we do acts of service and in our prayers, we will consider the ultimate servant: Jesus the Christ. We will spend the five weeks of Lent considering Jesus’ act of servanthood through the lens of Isaiah’s image of the suffering servant.
Each week as we gather together in small groups in worship we will focus on a different role Jesus plays for our sake:
- Week 1: He is rejected. We are chosen!
- Week 2: He has borne our infirmities. We are healed!
- Week 3: He was oppressed. We are freed!
- Week 4: He was isolated. We are invited into community!
- Week 5: He was despised. We are loved!
Each of these weeks will be accompanied with a piece of original artwork that will help us focus and consider that week’s text. Each week we will once again remember that Jesus gave up all for us so that we know beyond a doubt that we are saved through grace: that we are chosen, healed, freed, invited into community and loved.
In the coming weeks you will be asked to join a small group. There will be many different times and places that small groups will meet, with the goal that each adult member will be a part of a small group so that they deepen relationships with others and with God, learn from each other and deeply know a sense of community at First Lutheran.
We are a congregation that is intentionally becoming faithful at all times and places, becoming more scripturally fluent, more generous and more loving.
Join us this Lent as we continue to become who God is calling us to be.