From the Pastor….(March Newsletter Article)

“From dust you have come and to dust you shall return. Repent and believe the Gospel.” With those words ashes were imposed on the foreheads of all who attended Ash Wednesday services, either at Parkway or in some other Christian gathering. It was the solemn ceremony that ushers in the Season of Lent, the forty-day period (not counting Sundays) of preparation for the celebration of the central events of Christian faith, the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Those words are also a reminder that our lives are fragile, temporary, and intended to be spent living the abundant life that Jesus gives his followers. Not sure how it is for you, but to me it seems like we just did this a couple of months ago. Time really does fly.

And this year, if it is like every other, the days of Lent will fly by too.

Which means that we have this fleeting opportunity to prepare ourselves – not only for eternal life with God beyond our deaths – but also the life of disciples to which we are called every day. Our culture cries out for people of faith who will dedicate their lives to putting the teachings of Christ into practice. We may not ever do it perfectly, but through the commitment of our lives to love and service of others in the name of Jesus, we can change our world. I invite you to spend these rapidly moving days of Lent in an examination of your own life and a recommitment to the service of God through serving others.

Our Sunday services will focus not so much on us as Christians as on the people we meet while on this journey of faith. Below I have listed the sermon titles and related texts for the Sundays in Lent. In your personal preparation, you could use these texts during the week preceding the sermon to ponder its meaning and to ask God for an openness that would allow it to be applied to your life.

March 1 The First Sunday in Lent
“People You Meet along the Way: The Devil Himself”
Matthew 4:1-11
Romans 5:12-19

March 8 The Second Sunday in Lent
“People You Meet along the Way: The Rigidly Religious”
John 3:1-17
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

March 15 The Third Sunday in Lent
“People You Meet along the Way: The Distrustful”
John 4:5-42
Romans 5:1-11

March 22 The Fourth Sunday in Lent
“People You Meet along the Way: The Blind and the Really Blind”
John 9:1-41
Ephesians 5:8-14

March 29 The Fifth Sunday in Lent
“People You Meet along the Way: The Good as Dead”
John 11:1-45
Romans 8:6-11

April 5 The Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm Sunday)
“People You Meet along the Way: The Clueless Crowds”
Matthew 21:1-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29

April 10 Good Friday
“Symbol and Sacrifice”
John 13:1-17

“The Death of Jesus”
John 18:1-19:42