Get a Life: The Lenten Call to Discipleship
No offense, but you may need to get a life...
Okay, so maybe that is a little offensive. But it’s basically the same statement Jesus made repeatedly throughout the gospels:
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25 NIV)
I wonder what kind of reactions Jesus got whenever he said this. "Lose my life? Well, that sounds unpleasant. I think I’ll keep the life I’ve got... And I have to lose my life for you to truly find it? Jesus, where do you get this stuff?"
Knowing and applying what it means to "lose our lives" is central to the Christian faith. And it’s the issue we will explore during our Lenten worship series, “Get A Life: The Lenten Call to Discipleship.”
The season of Lent spans the 40 days prior to Easter (minus Sundays). Lent has been, since the earliest Christians who first observed it until now, a time to prepare candidates for baptism–the sacrament of the church that symbolizes and enacts a spiritual death and resurrection to new life. Many Christians observe the season of Lent today "by self–examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self–denial; and by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word.”(1) This year, in our church, Lent will also be a season of intense spiritual/life-formation for those who desire to grow or mark a new beginning in their faith.
One small group in our church that I lead, referred to as the "Discipleship Team," has been in an intentional process of life-formation since last June. For the past nine months, we have spent countless hours together–often in each others’ homes–to share meals, pray, serve, hang out, read Scripture and reflect on God’s activity in our lives and in the world. During Lent, our church will surround this "Discipleship Team" in prayer as they prepare to reaffirm their baptismal vows and are commissioned into ministries with the church.
Do you want to get a new life? Are you curious about what that means? Join us in worship, in a Sunday morning Adult Study/Sunday School class, or in any of the various ministries happening with our church throughout the week. May we all find Jesus and the new life he offers this lenten season.
(1) "A Service of Worship for Ash Wednesday” from the UM Book of Worship; https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/a-service-of-worship-for-ash-wednesday