We are now entering the period of Lent, the forty days up to Easter when we prepare ourselves once more to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Lent is traditionally a time for decluttering our minds, for living simply and engaging in reflection. In our Sunday services we will be following the set readings in the lectionary for Lent.
We begin with Jesus’ period of temptation in the wilderness where he encounters the devil and asserts his own identity and calling. We will then go on to explore several accounts of encounters Jesus had with individuals. We will see the heart of God reflected in Jesus’ interactions with these people, from his late night encounter with Nicodemus, a Jewish leader, to a life changing conversation with a foreign woman at a well, a chance encounter with a lowly blind man and a late arrival to see a good friend who has passed away.
As we journey with Jesus towards to the events of Holy Week, we will dwell on who Jesus was and how his interactions with the people he chose to meet and notice, changed lives and proclaimed a new type of kingdom. When we arrive at Palm Sunday and re-enact Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, with all the usual festive drama we can muster, we will know that this king who rode a donkey was no ordinary king. He was the subversive, radical, life-giving saviour of the world and if we want to follow him, we must follow the same path.
Below I have listed the passages we will look at each week. Why not read and reflect on them in advance as part of your Lenten discipline this year? Why not also commit to some other practise which will still your heart and centre you on Jesus? Perhaps choose one or more of these…
- Read 5 Psalms a day, starting from the beginning. When you reach the end, start again, you’ll definitely notice something different that speaks to you each time. See how the feelings and thoughts of the Psalmists resonate with yours.
- Read the book of Romans, all of it, in one go.
- Read each of the four Gospels, but make sure you read each one in one sitting. Experiences the completeness of the story as each writer chose to tell it.
- Download or buy a Lent study guide and use it during Lent. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have produced one called ‘Opening the Scriptures: Setting Our Hearts on Fire’. You can download and print it from their website. If you would like someone to do this for you, just ask in the office.
Lent Worship Plan 2020
March 1st Matthew 4 v1-11 The Temptation of Jesus
March 8th John 3 v1-17 Jesus and Nicodemus
March 15th John 4 v5-42 Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
March 22nd John 9 v1-41 Jesus heals a man born blind
March 29th John 11 v1-45 Jesus and Lazarus
April 5th Palm Sunday, Matthew 21 v1-11 The Triumphant Entry
April 12th Easter Sunday, The Resurrection