Lent Reading Guide

by Toni Crosby

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, ending on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Christians observe Lent as a period of reflection on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.  While the crucifixion was a period of sorrow and suffering, it prepares us for the joy of the resurrection celebrated on Easter Sunday – a celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin and death.

The observation of Lent traditionally includes Bible study, daily devotionals and periods of fasting.  Fasting gives us an opportunity to have closer communion with Jesus.  Clearing our lives of daily distractions will enable to more clearly hear Him as He speaks to us through His Word.

Fasting means abstaining from some of the things that we enjoy in order to get closer to God.  You may choose to give up certain foods (i.e., sweets, chocolate, caffeine,), tv shows, movies, social networking, internet, radio, music, or sleeping less.  You might abstain from a different one of these for each week of Lent, or you might give something up for the entire 46 days.  Fasting could also mean giving up one meal per day for the length of time you choose.  Of course, the idea is to sacrifice something you really enjoy, not something you don’t like!!

The following is a suggested schedule for the observation of Lent – you might choose to approach in a different way.  Whatever way you observe Lent, make it a time of spending time in the Word, meditation, and close fellowship with the Father through prayer. 

 

Week 1:  March 6 – 12

Theme:  Temptation

Action: Fasting from food

Bible Readings: Luke 4:1-13; Hebrews 2:14-18; 1 Corinthians 10:6-13; James 1:12-15

 

Week 2: March 13 – 19

Theme:  Recognizing and Responding to God’s Love

Action: Fasting from TV/Movies

Bible Readings: Luke 7:36-50; Romans 6:1-14; Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15;

Galatians 5:16-24

 

Week 3: March 20 – 26

Theme: Recognizing Christ for Who He Is, and the Cost of Following Him

Action: Fasting from Social Networking/Internet

Bible Readings: Luke 9:18-27; Philippians 3:7-16; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Hebrews 12:1-11

 

Week 4: March 27 – April 2

Theme: Praying as Jesus Taught

Action: Fasting from Caffeine and Sweets

Bible Readings: Luke 11:1-13; Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 4:4-7; Matthew 6:25-34;

James 5:13-18

 

Week 5: April 3 – 9

Theme: Humility Before God

Action: Fasting from Radio/Music/Electronic Media

Bible Readings: Luke 18:9-17

James 4:1-10; Peter 5:5-8; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 5:3-12

 

Week 6: April 9 – 16

Theme: Suffering and Triumph of Christ

Action: Fast from sleep – get up early or go to bed late: spend extra time in Bible Study & Prayer

Bible Readings: Luke 19:28-44; Luke 22:7-23; Luke 22:39-46; Luke 23; Luke 24; Romans 10:1-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-49; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; 1 Corinthians 15:26;  

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Valentines

Valentines

Today is the day! Bust out the cash and head to your nearest florist, grocery store, dollar general, website or wherever  and make your purchase for the special someone before it’s too late!

I was joking with some friends and co-workers yesterday about the cynicism we often all associate with Valentines Day…… Of course Russell Stover, 1800 Flowers, Hallmark, Vermont Teddy Bear, Shari’s Berries, UPS and Fed Ex are all in on this day together to get our money! But maybe it is because we need them to be…. In the current era we live in we all have a common struggle to make time for relationships even the most special and sacred ones. Valentines Day offers us the chance to stop, reflect, engage and be intentional. We were created for relationships.

Love, relationships, intimacy and sex was God’s idea from the beginning. Relational intimacy specifically as experienced through marriage and sexual fulfillment is based in Gen 1:27 where God created gender. Song of Solomon hails love and sex as enjoyable gifts from God. Not taboo topics we don’t ever talk about….. Song of Solomon also exhorts us that love, intimacy and sex should be protected and guarded from the “foxes” that run rampant through the gardens of our hearts and lives. Foxes come in all shapes and sizes. These biblical passages along with others have MAJOR impacts on current conversations swirling in public and social media circles on the subjects of relationships, marriage, gender, love and sexuality. I imagine we might all find of few these today as we are scrolling through our feeds. Valentines Day is reminder for Christ Followers to be anchored in Scriptures which ultimately speak life into some of these tender areas we must engage with others on.

Since it’s a school/weekday work night I imagine this might spoil some of us who would otherwise have big valentines date plans. Tonight Cassie my bride and I are going to be on facebook live via the Revive Church page talking Valentines Day/Relationships with anyone who would like to join us from 8-8:30pm. We’d love to have you and your spouse join in with us and ask any questions you’d like. (Seriously anything is fair game.) Not going to promise we will have an answer for everything but we would love to chat with anyone who wants to join in!

Happy Valentines Day!

Pastor Brock