REFLECTIONS FROM PASTOR DANA

I was reading through some of my preaching resources the other day, searching for ideas, further inspiration and motivation as we continue this long journey through Lent. As of this writing, we are closing in on the Fifth Sunday in Lent – now closer to the joy and triumph of Easter than sorrow and penitence of Ash Wednesday. Yet, the journey is feeling increasingly heavy to me. In my reading, I came across “A thought about Lent” from Joseph T. Nolan that might explain the feeling:

Nobody warns “So many shopping days to Easter!”

No costly gifts, no monetary loss.

Easter seems too easy.

It is – if you forget the cross.*

That’s it. I suspect that this growing, groaning heaviness has much to do with the long and deep shadow of the cross that looms just before Easter. Perhaps that is how Jesus felt as he finally neared his destination and destiny in Jerusalem. His journey began right after the mountaintop experience where Jesus was transfigured, exchanged encouraging words with Moses and Elijah, and received God’s blessing for the mission ahead – what a send-off! The journey ended in triumph with an empty tomb and Jesus risen from the dead. BUT after the mountaintop and before the empty tomb there was, there had to be, the cross. We must never, ever forget the cross. Holy Week helps us remember and prepares us empty tomb:

Palm/Passion Sunday, April 10, 10:30 a.m.

Holy (Maundy) Thursday, April 14, 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday Service, April 15, 7:00 p.m.

Easter Sunrise Service, April 17, 7:00 a.m.

Easter Celebration, April 17, 10:30 a.m.

*Joseph T. Nolan, Let the Earth Rejoice, Scripture, Prayers and Poems for the More Abundant Life, p.66

2022 WORSHIP SERIES FOR LENT
GATHERED UP IN JESUS
Our worship series for Lent, 2022, centers on surrendering ourselves and allowing ourselves to be gathered up in Jesus as we journey through these forty days. It’s a time of introspection and reality checks, while we also seek to be nurtured and held in the arms of Jesus. Jesus tells us how he wants to gather us up, like a mother hen gathers her brood. He wants us to seek him, run to him, be loved and cared for by him – not to avoid the Lenten journey toward the cross but be challenged and strengthened by it.


MARCH 2nd – ASH WEDNESDAY – ASHES TO ASHES
MARCH 6th – 1ST SUNDAY IN LENT – AN OPPORTUNE TIME
MARCH 13th – 2ND SUNDAY IN LENT – UNDER HIS WINGS
MARCH 20th – 3RD SUNDAY IN LENT – IF IT BEAR FRUIT
MARCH 27th – 4TH SUNDAY IN LENT – LOST AND FOUND
APRIL 3th – 5TH SUNDAY IN LENT – FILLED WITH FRAGRANCE
APRIL 10th – PALM/PASSION SUNDAY – THE LORD NEEDS IT
APR 14th – MAUNDY THURSDAY – DO YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE?
APR 15th – GOOD FRIDAY – THE PASSION OF CHRIST

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