Sunday Worship in Lent: “Because He Knew…”

Why did he keep moving toward the cross?  Was it an accident that Jesus was crucified?  The tragedy of the century? Surely, he should have known this was coming.  Surely, he could have avoided the pain, the suffering, the death.  But that’s the point, Jesus knew all along he was going to die. That was the eternal plan of the   Father… that the holy Son of God would suffer and die for a world of sinners.  However, Jesus also knew that death would not be the end.  The payment for sin would be accepted and he would rise to life again and defeat death itself, for us.  Join Jesus this  Lenten season as he relentlessly walks toward the cross, because he knew he was going to die.  The Gospel lessons for Lent are all connected by this one fascinating revelation – Jesus knew all along that he was going to die, and that impacted everything he did for our salvation.

Because He Knew…

  1. February 18  He preached the good news of the kingdom
  2. February 25  He prepared his disciples for the cross
  3. March 4  He put his house in order
  4. March 11  He promised salvation through faith
  5. March 18  He drew all people to himself
  6. March 25  [Palm Sunday] He rode into Jerusalem

 

Midweek Lenten Worship: “Return from Exile”

Once again we prepare to enter into the Lenten season as we journey through the Church Year.  Lent, however, is its own kind of journey. Lent is the journey we make as we travel with Christ from the Mount of Transfiguration to Jerusalem where He will face     the cross and the grave for our sakes.  It is a very sobering trip, a journey that often struggles to find joy.  But there is Easter!

This year our theme for our Lenten worship will focus upon the journey, but perhaps not in the way we usually walk it.  Our overall theme will be “Return from Exile: A Lenten Journey.”  All journeys must have a starting point; and in the preaching and teaching this Lenten season, we will consider our starting point a land of exile.

The land of exile from which we begin our journey is the wilderness of sin and death.  Sin came into the world when our first    parents were unfaithful and disobedient, eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam and Eve sinned, and we have inherited from them not only the sin itself, but also the result of that sin—separation from our Lord and God.  From the first sin in the first garden, we have been exiled into the wilderness where we have wandered without any ability to find our way out.

This is the beginning of our journey: exile.  But every journey also has a destination, an ending point.  Our return from exile brings us into the promised land.  Our relationship with our God is restored by Christ’s sacrifice.  Our destination, then, is the perfect place, the new garden, the courts of heaven—the ultimate destination which was established for us by His death and resurrection.  There is great joy in the journey as we see where our returning brings us; but there is also a somber attitude when we consider what Christ faced on account of our sin.

All journeys consist of many events that take place between the       journey’s beginning and its end.  Our Lenten journey is no different. Each leg of our Lenten journey begins in the Old Testament and then continues into the New Testament, pointing us to the joy that is ours in Christ Jesus.  Do not be surprised to discover that from the very beginning, even outside the gates of the Garden of Eden, it is Christ who travels with us.  He has always been our guide, from the very beginning, and He will journey with us to the very end.  Indeed, He has even gone before us to prepare a heavenly dwelling place.

Life is full of journeys.  Life itself is a journey.  We enter this   Lenten season contemplating the reality of our earthly journey but with eyes fixed on its destination—the empty tomb and the open gates of everlasting life.  What joy there is in knowing that we do not walk this way alone!

Once again this year, your pastors will be exchanging pulpits with area pastors.  Here is the schedule for those 6 Wednesdays:

  1. February 14  [Ash Wednesday]  Heart to Heart: Sackcloth and Ashes to Robes of Righteousness – Pastor Pope
  2. February 21  Mountain to Mountain: Mount Moriah to Mount Zion – Pastor Zarling
  3. February 28  Garden to Garden: Eden to Heaven –  Pastor Wierschke
  4. March 7  Tree to Tree: The Tree of Life to the Cross – Pastor Roekle
  5. March 14  Out of Egypt: Through the Water – Pastor Bauer
  6. March 21  Death to Resurrection: The Wilderness to the Promised Land – Pastor Schmidt

 

Holy Week Worship Services

As we begin the season of Lent, we also look forward to its culmination.  This year, Holy Week comes at the end of March with Easter falling on the 1st Sunday of April.  Here is a schedule of our Holy Week services this year:

  1. Sunday, March 25  Palm Sunday Worship at 8:00 & 10:45am
  2. Sunday, March 25  German Worship Service at 9:30am
  3. Thursday, March 29  Maundy Thursday Worship with Communion at 7:00pm
  4. Friday, March 30  Good Friday Worship at 1:00pm
  5. Friday, March 30  Good Friday Tenebrae Service at 7:00pm
  6. Sunday, April 1  Easter Worship with Communion at 6:30 & 9:30am
  7. Sunday, April 1  Easter Breakfast in FEC (immediately following the 6:30am service)