On the Vine – Worship in Lent

During Lent we intensify our commitment to God with the thought that it will continue after the 40 days leading up to Easter. At Resurrection it has been our tradition to gather for Wednesday evening worship in addition to our regular weekend schedule.

Every weekend through the end of March we will be looking at what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the Kingdom of God.  We will be using the ancient Hebrew image of a vineyard to picture God’s kingdom and our place in it.

February 20-21 Grafted:
How do you turn a wild olive tree into one that bears fruit? We are grafted into the historic, cultivated root of God’s first people in order that we would bear fruit for God’s kingdom.

The Wartburg College Outreach Team will be leading worship music at the 9:45 and 11:00 worship

February 27-28 Rooted:
At the baptism of Jesus, his public ministry begins. He is the root, the one into whom we are grafted in our own baptism.

March 6-7 Nourished:
Jesus gives power and authority to his followers to teach and heal. This is our call as well, as we grow in Christ who is the true vine. It is the vine that nourishes us.

March 13 – 14 Growing:
This is not going to be easy! Jesus’ disciples are discovering that Jesus’ ministry is controversial and causes division. This is the essential growing point for every disciple: “will you acknowledge me” before one another? True growth almost always includes pain; growing pains.

March 20 – 21 Stewards:
Before you start something, you need to count the cost of contemplating the project. In this vineyard, we are called to steward God’s gifts as part of living out discipleship.

March 27 – 28 Pressed:
The events of Holy Week press Jesus through political expediency and religious fear. The solution to their problem is the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. To his followers, they felt as if their movement had ended. It was, however, just the beginning.

On Wednesday evenings we will be exploring what forgiveness means and how we can move along the road toward forgiving those who have caused us pain. This will be a practical look at specific things we can do to avoid living a life filled with bitterness and hurt.

Wednesday, February 17 – Ash Wednesday
The season of Lent begins with a dedication to turn from ways that are contrary to God’s ways and seek the priceless treasure that is found in Jesus. The cross of ashes marked upon our foreheads is a sign of that repentance. We also join in the meal of Holy Communion to be strengthened for the journey.

Wednesday, February 24 – What is Forgiveness?
The journey towards forgiving someone begins with an understanding of what forgiveness really means. Is it really about forgetting? Who is really set free when we forgive? What steps do I need to take to begin forgiving?

Wednesday, March 3 – The Hurt
One of the first steps towards forgiving is admitting that we have been hurt and that we need to forgive. Too often we brush off the pain or excuse it. But admitting that someone has done us wrong helps us see that we can do something about it: Forgive them.

Wednesday, March 10 – The Hate
When we have been hurt and are left holding the pain we want to get rid of it. We do that by passing it on to someone else, often the person who hurt us in the first place. But revenge always seems to grow with every return volley. Breaking out of the revenge cycle is the second step towards forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 17 – The Healing
Forgiving is a process. Sometimes is comes quickly. More often, it takes time. But time alone doesn’t heal all wounds. There are some specific things we can do to speed the healing and move us to the next stage in the process.

Wednesday, March 24 – The Hope
Jesus shows us the pattern of death and resurrection that comes with forgiveness. We suffer when we forgive because we absorb the debt. But the promise and hope that we cling to is that we will find new life on the other side of that suffering.

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