Week of Lent 2016 “Word of God”

Week of Feb. 15-21

Explanation of Lent

Lent is a time of introspection and repentance, yes, but its ultimate purpose lies beyond this.

In essence, Lent serves as our annual invitation to come closer to God. It provides a time to look at our lives and ourselves, not so we may criticize ourselves more harshly but so we may identify the obstructions that keep us from God.

How do we hide from God, and why? Lent gives us a chance to look at such obstructions and move them gently away so that we can come closer to the Love that gives us life.
Lent offers a gift of time and promise of closeness. It gives us time to see our current state of affairs in complete honesty.

Furthermore, it gives us time to compare this present snapshot with an image of where we would like to be, place we feel God wants us to find. Self-scrutiny is part of Lent’s process, but we do not observe Lent for the sake self-scrutiny alone. Christ’s message is one of new life and forgiveness, so Lenten self-scrutiny must serve this purpose.

Following close upon Lent’s scrutiny and repentance is hope – hope that the barriers between us and God will not remain, that with God’s help we will clear them away and begin to experience greater joy and newness of life.

Lent and the Word

Who better to focus upon Lent than Jesus, the one who died to restore the closeness with God that humankind forfeited, and continues to forfeit, through sin.

In the Scripture Jesus is called the Word of God. What better way to draw close to God than to focus upon the one is the Word of God. A practical way to focus on the Word of God is by reading the written Word, the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to us.

Lent and Mark

This year for Lent we are encouraging everyone in our church family to focus on Jesus by reading one of his biographies – the book of Mark. Mark is the shortest of the four gospels in the Bible.

Important themes in Mark’s biography are Jesus’ humanity, the Kingdom of God, the failures of Christ’s disciples and the centrality of the cross. It is a story with which we can identify as humans, and as Christ’s followers.

The Scripture readings for the week of February 15-21 are:

Daily Reading Questions:

1. What stands out to you in this passage?
2. What do you note about Jesus in this passage?
3. What might God be saying to you through this passage?