Lent is a six-week season in the church year that precedes Easter. Its name comes from a medieval term that refers to the “lengthening” of days which occurs in the springtime. Lent is a time to focus on our spiritual growth; to consider what it means to follow Jesus to the cross of his crucifixion. Just like Christmas has the season of Advent before it which helps us prepare for Christ’s birth, so does Easter have the season of Lent to help us prepare for Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday (February 22 this year) and concludes with Holy Week, which itself begins with Palm Sunday (April 2), continues with Maundy Thursday, when Jesus held the Last Supper with his disciples (April 6), and culminates with Easter Sunday (April 9).
For Ash Wednesday, we will offer two (2) services – 12:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. At both services, we will impose ashes (on the back of the hand or the forehead) for anyone who wishes to receive them. We will also have communion. The only difference between the noon and evening services is that we will have music and singing during the 5:30 service but not at noon. Both services are in-person only. However, we will also offer “drive thru” ashes and a Lenten prayer between 12:30-12:45 for those who would find that option more appealing. Simply line up in the West Entrance driveway. As soon as Pastor Vicky and I are done with the 12:00 service, we will meet you under the West Entrance canopy.
Our worship services during Lent will be based on a series called “MORE (the Benefits of a Christian Life).” In a world full of options, why choose Christ? With so much pessimism and cynicism all around us, is there a reason to be hopeful? With countless examples of division and discord, can faith in Christ really make a difference? Over the next six weeks, answering these questions will be our focus at Central in a sermon series called “MORE: the Benefits of a Christian Life.” Each week, we will assert how making the choice to believe and have faith is not only beneficial to us, individually, but to the world through us. Pastor Michael will preach each of the sermons in this series.
February 26 Benefit #1 – Hope of Salvation John 11:1-6, 17-26
God can make a way where there seems to be no way.
March 5 Benefit #2 – Peace Matthew 11:28-30
You are not alone in your struggle.
March 12 Benefit #3 – Freedom Romans 4:1-5
I am loved for who I am and not for what I produce or accomplish.
March 19 Benefit #4 - Community I Corinthians 12:24b-26
The friends we have in faith are the best friends we could have.
March 26 Benefit #5 - Purpose Matthew 4:18-22
I get to be part of meaningful work that brings people together.
April 2 Benefit #6 - Mission Matthew 25:31-40
My life will always have meaning.
April 9 Benefit #7 – Easter
Blessings – Michael