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MARCH 2021 NEWSLETTER

“The Lord’s Faithful Love” (Our 150th Anniversary Theme)

LENT AND THE PASSION OF OUR LORD

As we relearned last month, Easter is such an important commemoration that we spend several weeks preparing for it—in the time we call Lent, the forty days (not counting Sundays) from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday. Moved by Christ’s great love for us, as shown ultimately in his death on the cross, we renew our commitment to be his disciples. We devote ourselves to greater use of Scripture and prayer.

Lent was never meant to be an extended Good Friday, but rather a time of spiritual renewal shaped by the cross, as everything in the church is. We learn the first week in Lent to battle temptation; the second week, to pray; the third week, to rely on Christ’s victory over the devil; and the fourth week, to be fed by Christ.

But in the last two weeks of Lent we think more directly about Christ’s death and its effect upon our discipleship. These last two weeks are called Passiontide. (Passion is used in the sense of “a deeply emotional experience, whether positive or negative,” in this case, his suffering on the cross.) Passiontide begins with Passion Sunday, the Fifth Sunday in Lent. There we see Christ, the Son of God, rejected by his peers long before his death. The following Sunday, Palm Sunday, recounts not only the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but the events that unfolded later that week. Then the whole Church Year slows down—and we watch everything unfold in real time.

Thus, in the second half of March, we’ll keep our eyes especially focused on the cross. After all, Lent and even our discipleship isn’t about ourselves—it’s all about Jesus.

LENT CONTINUES

February began the Lenten season and April will end it, but March is Lent through and through. Below is a reminder of all the things that we have for Lent:

  • Lenten midweek services will be held through March 24, at 7 p.m. Each service will last approximately forty minutes and will meet in the church basement.
  • The theme for all the midweek Lenten services this year will be “All Eyes on Jesus.” Each week’s theme is based on the Gospel historically appointed for that Wednesday in Lent. Here are the themes of the remaining midweek services:
  1. March 3: “Jesus Serves and Saves”
  2. March 10: “Jesus Uses the Law Lawfully”
  3. March 17: “Jesus Restores Our Sight”
  4. March 24: “Jesus Does the Work of His Father”
  • Holy Week services (Go ahead and mark your calendar!) will be at 7 p.m. on Holy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2), and the Vigil of Easter (April 3).
  • A Lenten devotional booklet is still available in the narthex.