WNL will be at regular time, 7 – 8 pm tonight, March 30th. We will meet in our regular room. 1st Communion students attending the Wednesday night classes will be dismissed at 7:40 and sent to the fellowship hall.
WNL will be at regular time, 7 – 8 pm tonight, March 30th. We will meet in our regular room. 1st Communion students attending the Wednesday night classes will be dismissed at 7:40 and sent to the fellowship hall.
Here is the WNL schedule for the next seven weeks:
March 9 NO WNL
March 16 NO WNL
March 23 SPECIAL WNL FAMILY EVENT – Bowling at Marion Bowl 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Bring your family for some fellowship and fun. Bowling and shoes provided. Food is available at your own cost. We will be done in time for people to attend the 7 pm Lent service.
March 30 Regular WNL 7 – 8 pm (Will dismiss 4th graders attending communion class at 7:40)
April 6 Regular WNL 7 – 8 pm (Again dismissing 4th graders attending communion class at 7:40)
April 13 WNL Lent Meal 5:45 – 6:45 – WNL will be serving tacos, desserts, and chips/salsa. Any money we make will go to the purchase of Heifer International animals. We will need donations of food items to maximize profit and the number of animals we can purchase. Please let Jill know if you are interested in providing food for our meal. We will also need adult volunteers to help the kids in the kitchen. (NO REGULAR WNL as we will be doing set up and clean up in addition to the meal.)
Contact Jill Hansen at email@example.com with any questions.
Monday, March 29, Luke 22:1-13
This week we will prayerfully study the death and resurrection of Jesus the Savior. What is the significance of the Passover (Exodus 12:1-13, 21-28)? In light of Luke 19:28-48, why are the priests and teachers so determined to kill Jesus? Besides wanting to spend time with his disciples, why is it so important to Jesus that he share this Passover them? How does this relate to the way Jesus has the disciples arrange for the Passover feast? How would you have felt if you were one of the disciples preparing for the Passover?
Tuesday, March 30, Luke 22:39-71
As you read the scripture, what strikes you about Jesus’ prayer (43)? Does Jesus seem helpless, defeated, filled with resignation, or quietly trusting on God’s love as he always has? Why? What do you mean when you pray “your will be done?” Why do you think the crowd was so large, and armed (52)? Why are their fears unfounded? We read once again about Peter’s denial of Jesus (54-62). Peter seems very courageous in verses 33 and 49-50, but what accounts for Peter’s denial? What questions must he still have about Jesus? Have you felt like Peter: you love Jesus so very much … but here … now … is not a good time to admit it? When have you felt that way? What helps you through your guilt?
Wednesday, March 30, Luke 23:1-12
Why might the guards have treated Jesus as they did in 22:63-65? How did the concern of the elders (67-70) differ when they brought their concerns to Pilate (23:1-2)? How seriously did Pilate take their claims (1-2)? What new claim did they bring (5)? In light of verse 9, why do you think Jesus gave no answer at all? What accounts for the newly-formed friendship in 12? After reading these verses, does it make a difference to you that Jesus is a different kind of leader than Pilate or Herod? If Jesus was on trial now, would you be impressed with his servant heart, or wanting a strong, famous king? Spend some time in prayer.
Thursday, April 1, Luke 22:14-38
Read the entire scripture. How does Jesus’ use of bread and wine change the emphasis of Passover (17-19)? Using Jeremiah 31:31-33, how would you describe the “new covenant” Jesus brought? (Also read Hebrews 10:11-18) What does sharing the Lord’s Supper mean to you? What are your thoughts during communion? How would you have felt about the unknown betrayer (21-22)? How do you apply verse 27 to your own life? Family? Work? Relationships? Which disciple resembles you the most? Why? The next time you receive communion, think about this Passover and what it means for you.
Friday, April 2, Luke 23:13-29
After reading these verses, we sense that Pilate would have liked to release Jesus. Why does Pilate give into the leaders? Read John 19:12 for more insight into Pilate’s fears. Pilate buckled under a difficult decision. Has that ever happened to you? What did it feel like after you buckled? How do you think the story of Barabbas illustrates what Jesus has done for you? This is a good time to pray for courage and steadfastness so that, when you are in a Pilate situation, you can resolve to stand up for what is right and not give in to the pressure around you. Spend some time in prayer.
Saturday, April 3, Luke 23:50-56
Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy and honored man. In verse 51 we are told that he was “waiting for the kingdom of God.” What more do you learn about him in these verses? Why would he risk so much to bury Jesus? Jesus had “apparently failed,” but the women and Joseph did not abandon him. What do you learn from this for your own life? When was the last time you took a risk for Jesus and considered it an honor? Spend some time praying about your confidence in Jesus! Thank him for his confidence in you. What an awesome Savior we have!
Sunday, April 4, Luke 24:1-12
Given all these women had experienced in the last few days (19:37, 23:26-49, 55), how do you think they are feeling when they go to the tomb? When they find it empty? When the “two men” speak to them? Why don’t the eleven believe it (11)? After reading verse 12, what do you think is going through Peter’s mind? When did the resurrection first have real meaning for you? Why? What difference does it make for your life, anyway? Where is your spiritual life right now: at the manger, on Good Friday, on Easter morning, or in between? Why? Many of us study the Bible as a historical document and go to Church as a memorial service. But Jesus is not among the dead. He lives! He reigns in the hearts of his people! Do you look for Jesus among the living? Do you expect him to be active in the world and in the church? This day, this wonderful day, look for signs of his power. They are all around you! Spend some time in prayer lifting up the scripture readings and your thoughts and questions for this week. HE IS RISEN! Praise God indeed!
Monday, March 22, Luke 19:1-27
The focus for today is verses 1-10. I find it interesting that Jesus finds Zacchaeus up in a tree. He calls him down, and has dinner with him. Why does Jesus dine with him? Why does it bother others? On what basis does Jesus confirm Zacchaeus’ salvation? What does Zacchaeus give up to follow Jesus? Where did Jesus find you? What has been your response to him?
Tuesday, March 23, Luke 19:28-48
The focus for today is verses 28-44: Jesus’ triumphant entry. Jesus and the disciples are only a few miles from Jerusalem. What task does he give to two of the disciples? Why? How do you picture the scene in verses 35-38? How are their expectations different from Jesus’? How would Jesus be treated if he rode into our town today? Who or where is your “Jerusalem”? Are you and Jesus on the same journey, or were you hoping for a more “impressive” Lord? Spend some time in prayer.
Wednesday, March 24, Luke 20:1-26
The focus for today is verses 9-19: the parable of the tenants. How does this parable relate to the questions of authority raised in verses 1-8? What do the landowner, the tenants, the servants and the son represent? How does Jesus’ quote in verse 17 relate to the parable? In your life right now, is Jesus like a millstone (weight) or a capstone (one that holds everything together)? Why? Pray for a heart that knows Christ and believes in him.
Thursday, March 25, Luke 20:27-47
The focus for today is verses 41-47: whose son is the Christ? Given the issue of authority in this chapter, why is Jesus asking questions now? What things undermine the authority of the religious leaders? How does the poor widow (21:1-4) differ from the leaders? What is Jesus’ point in making this contrast? Has there been a time when you “used” religion to get something for yourself (attention, praise, a good feeling) rather than for love of God? Pray that God will create a clean heart in you.
Friday, March 26, Luke 21
The focus for today is verses 5-38: signs of the end of the age. What prompts this lesson from Jesus? In verses 8-19, what is Jesus teaching about? What will happen to the disciples and the church before the end? What comfort will there be in the midst of these trials? What does he say the attitude of the disciples should be at this time? What is significant about how the Son of Man will come (27)? What should the attitude of believers be when they see the Son of Man coming? How would verses 32-33 have been of comfort to the disciples? In the midst of this news, how does Jesus caution his followers in verses 34-35? We are told in scripture (Luke 12:39-40) that we will not know when Jesus is returning. How does this affect the way you live your life? Spend some time in prayer, asking God to help you become better at watching and praying.
Saturday, March 27, Luke 22 – 23
Read through these two chapters slowly and prayerfully. This is a good time to read through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read the entire text at one time; you might even want to read through to Luke 24:53. We will be studying these texts in smaller segments, but it’s very meaningful and heart-searching to read it in its entirety. How well do you think you can explain the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how a person can have a relationship with him? Pray that God will empower you to do this.
Sunday, March 28, Psalm 142
Read through this psalm. What is the tone of this lament (1-3)? How free does David feel to express his true feelings? How free do you feel to express your true feelings to God? What do you think David means by “portion” (verse 5; also Numbers 18:20)? David was caught in deep depression in this psalm, and he came to the Lord. What do you do when you feel that no one cares, and you are paralyzed with fear? Where are you seeking an inheritance: earthly, or heavenly? This is a great time to speak with the Lord and get current with him.
Monday, March 15, Luke 13
Jesus teaches about entering the kingdom (22-28). How does Jesus decide who will make it and who won’t? If God wants all kinds of people to know him, why isn’t the door wider (29)? Who are the ones outside (11:23, 11:37-53, 12:9, 12:21, 12:45-46, 13:1)? Why isn’t eating and drinking with Jesus enough? Do you think only a few, or many, or all will be saved? Why? Do you know whether you are inside or outside the kingdom? How do you get in (11:9, 12:31-32)? Recommit your life to Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, March 16, Luke 14
Jesus advises people not to rush in for the best seats (7-14); he wants us to look for a place to serve. How does Jesus’ view of honor differ from the view held by others? What does this teach you about kingdom values versus social values, and their application in our lives? How does status and culture get in the way of loving Jesus? In 25-34, we are reminded about the cost of being a disciple. The word “hate” here does not refer to mental or emotional dislike of family members or of one’s own life, but rather a rejection of anything or anyone blocking our absolute commitment to Christ (see Matthew 10:21, 10:34-39). How do each of the three parables in this passage relate to the necessity of giving our primary love and loyalty to Jesus? When did you realize that following Jesus would be costly? Do you ever wonder if it’s worth it? What keeps you going? Pray about struggles in your life, and leave them at the foot of the cross.
Wednesday, March 17, Luke 15
This chapter brings together three great parables revealing the depth of God’s love and the extent he goes to in finding his own. God loves his children, right down to the last one. He shows us, through Jesus, how far he will go in seeking his misplaced children. What is Jesus’ point with the parable of the lost son (11-31)? What does this parable teach about sin, repentance, and God’s love? What does Jesus want to teach the Pharisees in 25-31? Why doesn’t Jesus tell us how the older brother responded to his father’s plea? Which brother are you like? Have you ever been resentful of God’s lavishness to “less deserving” people? Why? When have you experienced God being like this father? Pray that God would allow you a heart that not only forgives, but also a heart that encourages and supports.
Thursday, March 18, Luke 16
Luke 16:13 reminds us that we cannot serve God and money. It should be used to establish relationships with people and to help others, not to accumulate things! How do you view your money: “it’s mine, keep your hands off;” or, “it’s my creditors;” or, “it’s God’s and I just manage it?” How do you deal with an “it’s mine” mind in an “it’s God’s” commitment to Christ? The Pharisees considered wealth to be proof of righteousness (19-31). How do the lives of the rich man and Lazarus compare on earth (19-21)? After death (22-24)? From this story (30-31), what is the determining factor for entering heaven? Why is it so hard for us to make choices that God wants us to make? Does your life reflect the rich man or Lazarus? How do you move closer to God’s model? Our attitude toward God, revealed in the actions of this life, determines our condition in the life to come. Pray for a heart that serves God, not money.
Friday, March 19, Luke 17
Focus on verses 20-37. In response to the Pharisees, what does Jesus say about the kingdom? Does he view the kingdom within people’s spirits? How does it differ from an earthly kingdom? What did Jesus mean when he said, “one of these days of the Son of Man”? How will those days be like those of Noah and Lot? As you and I live in the kingdom, waiting for the Son of Man to come, what do you see here that you should apply to 32-33? Pray that God will keep you ready and growing in your journey of faith.
Saturday, March 20, Luke 18
Many Roman judges accepted bribes. What was the widow’s bribe, or weapon (1-8)? What was the point in this parable? In your prayer life, are you more likely to give up or hang tough? Why? In 9-14, we compare the prayers of the Pharisee and the tax collector. In today’s terms, who would be the Pharisee? The tax collector? How do both parables demonstrate faith? What do they teach about God? Jesus warns us about hypocrisy in prayer (see Matthew 6:5-8). Pride keeps prayer from achieving its purpose, while humility leads to open communication with God. God counts humble confession as righteousness. Have you been like the Pharisee? The tax collector? What accounts for the difference? Jesus welcomed the children because they have the kind of faith and trust needed to enter the kingdom of God (15-17; see also Matthew 19:13-15). Are you coming to Jesus like a child filled with faith and trust, or are you still trying to earn the kingdom? Pray Psalm 51:17.
Sunday, March 21, Psalm 101
This psalm is a prayer for help in living a holy life. In order to live a life of integrity, both our efforts and God’s help are necessary. Verse 2 talks about needing God’s help in our homes. Why might this be true? How do you feel about the standard of ethics in our government? Where do your ethics need a boost? In the Living Bible, verse 6 says, “I will make the godly of the land my heroes.” How are David’s heroes in this psalm different from the heroes of our culture today? This psalm is about a godly leader, but we are all leaders in some arena. What makes an effective leader? What did Jesus say about leadership in Luke 22:24-26? Read this psalm as if it were your creed, and ask God to help you apply it to your daily life.
Monday, March 8, Luke 9:28-62
Why do you think Jesus took Peter, James and John with him (29- 36)? How are Peter’s confession (18-20), the prophecy of Jesus (22), and the saying in 27 connected? Why did Peter react as he did (33)? Why were Moses and Elijah present? Have you experienced God in an unusual or intimate way, and wanted to stay in that moment? What do the disciples mean by greatness (46-50)? What does Jesus mean? How do you picture greatness? In 51-62, Jesus teaches about the cost of following him. If Jesus asked you to follow him today, would you have excuses? How does Jesus respond to excuses? What is keeping you from total dedication, instead of halfhearted commitment? Spend time in prayer asking God to help you.
Tuesday, March 9, Luke 10
Jesus sends out 72 to evangelize (1-24). Why do you think he sent them in groups of two? Why did he send them ahead? How do 1-12 show Jesus’ urgency for evangelism? What are the dangers and comforts of aligning yourself with Jesus (16)? Why is Jesus joyful (21)? What would it take for you to be more involved in the harvest? How does being blessed by knowing Jesus influence your response to God (23)? Why does Jesus answer the expert of the law with a story (25-37)? Given the divisions between Jews and Samaritans (John 4), what’s unusual about the outcome of this parable? Who do you most identify with? Why? Who needs you to be a good Samaritan this week? Read 38-41 and rediscover the Mary and Martha in you. Who are you most like?
Wednesday, March 10, Luke 11:1-28
We learn three things about prayer: content (2-3), persistence (5- 10), and God’s faithfulness (11-13). (Also see Matthew 6:9-13.) In Jesus’ prayer (2-4), which concerns come first? What personal concerns follow? What does 5-8 teach about prayer? How does 9-10 relate to the parable? Do you think 9-10 are sometimes misunderstood? Why? Do 11-13 clarify the intent of 9-10? The Old Testament promised that God would someday give his Spirit to his people (Joel 2:28-33). Do you pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit? (See Romans 2:29, 1 Corinthians 12:1-30, Romans 8:25-27.) Do you feel like God is listening, or far away? God invites us to a personal relationship with him; we are his children! Share with God that part of your life for which you are seeking him.
Thursday, March 11, Luke 11:29-54
Notice Jesus’ warning about unbelief (29-32). Why is Jesus so upset about this generation? What is Jesus’ point? Are you waiting for a sign before you turn to God? What surprises the Pharisee about Jesus (37-54)? How does Jesus turn the table on his host (39-41)? What is the meaning of the three woes directed at the Pharisees (42-44)? What is the point of these criticisms? What is the meaning of the three woes in 46-52? What is the point of the accusations directed at lawyers? Since we think of Jesus as meek and mild, what is significant about this? Of the six woes (three to the Pharisees and three to the lawyers) which one(s) have your name on them? Why? How would you like your life to change in light of these verses? Pray.
Friday, March 12, Luke 12:1-34
Why does Jesus encourage his disciples to fear, yet be fearless (4- 7)? What does Jesus say about the believer’s security facing human opposition? God’s judgment? Have you stood up for Jesus in a public way? How did that feel? Pray for an opportunity to speak for God; God will give you the words. Our attitudes, values, goals, activities and possessions express our Christian faith (13-34). Jesus tells a parable to answer a man’s plea (13-21). What is the man’s problem? His solution? What does this parable explain? If you looked at your investment portfolio, would you find that you’re rich towards God? If not, what will you do this week, and this year, to change that? In 22-34, Jesus commands us not to worry. How do these verses relate to the preceding ones? Why does Jesus tell the disciples not to worry? What does he urge them to do instead? What does he ask them to do in 31? What will happen? You can’t separate what you do from what you believe; what you treasure shows your priorities. Does God’s love touch your wallet? Your time? Your energy? On a scale of 1-10, where is your worry level right now? How will you transfer your treasures from Wall Street to heaven’s gate? Take time to “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Saturday, March 13, Luke 12:35-59
What is the relationship between watchfulness and worry? What are the major concerns here? Why does Jesus say they should be ready (39-40)? What are the actions and mind of the faithful, wise manager (42-43)? What could tempt the manager to do wrong (45)? How does Jesus summarize this in 48? Are there dangers that Jesus is warning you about? What has God entrusted to you? Would you do anything differently if you knew Jesus was returning in 30 days? We must bear fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and serve; we must be ready! Are you ready to greet him joyfully? Why, or why not? Divisions occur as some choose to follow Christ and others do not (49-53). Our faith in Christ includes service to our families, but Christ must be supreme. What has Christ brought to your family and friends: division or peace? Why? Ask Jesus to give you the right words to share your faith, or the strength to accept another’s decision when you’ve done all you can. Is there someone you need to lift up to the Lord? God is listening; God cares.
Sunday, March 14, Psalm 50
This psalm contrasts true and false faith. Notice the movement from the picture of what God has drawn in 1-6, to the religious people in 7-15, and then on to the wicked in 16-23. If God addressed you today through this psalm, what would he most likely attack: mindless ritualism or lip service? Why? God is warning people, and issuing the call to follow him. How has he done that for you? Pray that God will forgive you, and give you a heart of love and humility.
Monday, March 1, Luke 6:20-49
Pray that your heart will be open to God’s message for you. The Beatitudes (20-26; also called the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:3-10) contrast eternal values with worldly values and superficial faith with real faith, and explain how Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new kingdom. What are the qualities of kingdom people? What are the blessings? When are the blessings experienced? Now? In the future? Both? Which promise means the most to you? Why? Which warning seems the most personal? How do your values compare with the values Jesus mentions? Spend time in prayer asking God to help you build a strong foundation. What building blocks from 27-45 do you need to add to your foundation?
Tuesday, March 2, Luke 7:1-23
Verses 1-10 tell of a centurion whose servant was healed because of his faith. Why do the elders request Jesus’ help? How does their approach differ from the centurion’s (6-8)? What quality of faith do you see in the centurion? What quality of faith shows up when you are in crisis? In 11-17, Jesus brings a widow’s deceased son back to life. The widow had lost her husband and now her son, her last means of support. What does this story, and the story in 1-10, tell you about Jesus? How do these stories make a difference to you? Praise God for his mercies, love, compassion and power.
Wednesday, March 3, Luke 7:24-50
What do John’s messengers ask (20)? Why? How does Jesus answer the question (21-23)? (See Isaiah 29:18-19, 35:5-6, 61:1.) How might John have felt about Jesus’ blessing in 23? How does Jesus affirm John? When did you arrive at your knowledge that Jesus is “the one”? Read about the sinful woman anointing Jesus’ feet (36- 50; also Matthew 26:6-13). What risk does she take by coming to the Pharisee’s house? Why do you think Jesus uses the parable in 41-43? What is Jesus’ main concern here? How do you think this woman feels when Jesus forgives her? How difficult would it be for you to show Jesus that kind of love? When it comes to relationships, are you a “stingy forgiver” or a “big forgiver”? How can you apply this story to your own life this week? How would it change your life?
Thursday, March 4, Luke 8:1-25
Why does Jesus use parables to illustrate spiritual insights (1-15)? Why are the disciples given an explanation while the others are not (Matthew 4: 13-20)? In Jesus’ explanation of this parable, what is the seed? Soils? Fruit? Farmer? What kind of soil best represents you now? How are you hearing God? Loud and clear? A lot of static? No sound whatsoever? Spend time praying, “Lord, let my life be good soil.” In 16-18, Jesus and his message appear to be the lamp. What is the promise for those who do and don’t listen? How does Jesus expand on this (19-21)? How do you get close to Jesus? We need to pray that God will forgive us and change our lives so that we no longer have to be ashamed, but are transformed by his grace to be his disciples. We should be light to the world! (Matthew 5:14-16.) Jesus calms the storm (22-25). What is Jesus teaching them by ignoring, and then rebuking, the storm? Why is Jesus upset? What emotions hinder faith? Is there a storm in your life that you wish Jesus would calm? Ask Jesus to calm your storm.
Friday, March 5, Luke 8:26-56
How does Jesus treat the man in 26-39 differently than the way others treat him? How do the pig farmers and the townspeople react? Why are they afraid? Jesus doesn’t let the man go with him; what does he ask him to do instead? Have you ever preferred not to listen to the claims of Jesus because they would affect your usual routine? Do you think Jesus is saying, “do not value pigs more than people”? How do our everyday decisions affect other people? In 40- 56, Jesus brings a dead girl back to life and heals a woman. Why do you suppose that Jesus has her reveal herself (45-48)? For his sake, or hers? How was Jairus’ reaction to Jesus’ coming different than the mourners? Have you ever felt as desperate as the woman, or Jairus? Have you ever been too frightened to come to God? In these stories, what stands out about Jesus’ power? His purpose? Pray that God will be with you today in every moment and situation.
Saturday, March 6, Luke 9:1-27
What is Jesus’ ministry about (1-9)? What does he tell the disciples to do? How does King Herod react? Why? What is your mission? How does God’s kingdom fit into your mission? In 10-17, Jesus feeds five thousand people. The disciples want him to send the crowd away, but what does Jesus tell them to do (12-13)? What do you think went through their minds as they collected the leftovers? How would you handle another assignment from God if you were as weary as the disciples? Ask God to fill your heart with your mission. Jesus asks Peter, “who do you say that I am?” What does it mean to deny self? Take up your cross daily? Follow Christ? Lose your life?
Sunday, March 7, Psalm 37
This psalm lifts up the prosperity of the wicked and the frustration of the people. The psalmist learned that God would eventually punish the wicked, which is mentioned five times. What other images portray how they will eventually be frustrated (2, 9-10, 12-17, 20, 35-36)? Righteousness affects a person’s pocketbook (21, 26), speech (30), and thoughts (31). Since Job, good people have been asking why bad things happen to them. How are you encouraged in the midst of suffering? How do you encourage others?
Lutheran Church of the Resurrection’s monthly newsletter Crosstalk and the monthly calendar is available in pdf format by clicking on the following links:
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.
Congratulations Pastor Dennis on your retirement!
A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:4-5, ESV)