Lent (and Easter)
Throughout history, Lent has been a season of preparation for the deep reality of the Gospel that is expressed in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. While history may have focused on self-denial and asceticism, we want to instead explore a season that will prepare us to fully appreciate and embrace what it means to love Jesus, be transformed by the gospel, and experience the power of God at work in and through us. Want to know the power of God in you? Join us on the journey of Lent.
MAR 31--EASTER--Things are always transforming. Everything in nature is in a state of continual change. While those natural transformations are at times in a positive trend, the overall trajectory of our natural transformation seems to move toward decay. But Easter is a season of supernatural transformation that turns all of that upside down!
7. Save Us
MAR 24--As Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we often call Palm Sunday, a crowd of people called out "Hosanna", a Hebrew word directly connected with the idea of salvation. But their hope for "salvation" was different than what Jesus truly came to bring. His next seven days on the earth would bring about salvation to us all.
- What does it mean to you when you hear that Jesus has "saved" us?
- What are some things in your life that you need "saving" from?
- What part of the last week of Jesus' life sticks out to you most and why?
- How would you explain what Jesus has done for us to someone who isn't familiar with the Gospel message?
MAR 17--Some of us study life, others simply live it. Some want to find its deeper meaning and others just want dinner! Whatever the depth of our concern for the purpose of life, the fact remains that we all have a reason behind our life. Meaning, fulfillment and eternity are all shaped by the way we do (or don't) pursue that meaning. And maybe, just maybe the pathway to meaning is a paradox you didn't expect!
- What are you pursuing to give meaning to your life?
- Do you agree with the statement that the pathway to life is through death? Why or why not?
- Using Jesus’ simple definition of a disciple, would you say you are a disciple?
- What is God showing you today? What are you going to do about it?
5. true love...
MAR 10--The nature of true love is a bit difficult to grasp. But if we want to understand its nature, we have to understand God, because God is love. Love is behind the actions God expressed through Jesus. Love is behind his need to rescue us from our doomed state. Love becomes a choice that changes everything about us for tomorrow . . . and today!
- How do you view God?
- How does the concept of a world already condemned by sin make you feel? Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- If you don’t agree that Jesus is the answer to the problem of condemnation, what is he?
- If you agree that Jesus is the answer to condemnation, how does that affect your belief for eternity? For today?
4. I HOPE!
MAR 3--To the Jewish people, the Passover was a festival steeped in hope and deliverance. To Christians Easter has become the realization of that hope. In practice, sometimes it seems like hope is in short supply or at the very least is easily or quickly lost. How is it that we can so easily get knocked down? How do we build a hope that is rock solid no matter what life brings our way?
- What is your hope in?
- How does the object of your hope affect the choices you make and the way you live?
- What stands in the way of you placing your hope in God? The gospel? Eternity?
3. Faith to Follow
FEB 24--Following Jesus takes faith, and faith can be a difficult thing for us, because we like to be in control of where we're going. Jesus' followers had to learn what it meant to follow Jesus, and a big part of that was learning that His plan wasn't going to look like what they were expecting.
- What’s an area of your life you find it difficult to follow in?
- What do you think it would have been like to be one of Jesus’ followers during some of these events?
- How does knowing that God sees the big picture make you feel?
- Can you think of a time where you’ve taken control instead of following? What was the result?
- What are some things that help you keep trusting God to lead you?
2. Messiah in the Passover
FEB 17--Today we look at the Jewish Passover celebration and see how Christ Jesus was truly revealed. Our guest speaker, Steven, shares with us his personal experience at this most holy Jewish tradition that was celebrated for centuries before His birth. This message is the second in our Lenten series.
1. Prepare the Way
FEB 10--You would think that the world-changing ministry of Jesus would start with a bang, but instead it begins in a desert. Instead of a big show, it is a humble season where God sets the stage for the kind of life--and the kind of heart--that walks humbly with God and wins victory over the spiritual forces of darkness.
- Describe how you know when the Holy Spirit is leading you.
- When has the Spirit of God led you in an uncomfortable direction? How did you respond?
- Would you be willing to ask God to show you how he wants to test/prepare you for what is next?