I hope and pray that this season of Lent is providing you the opportunity to intentionally and prayerfully reflect on your faith. These 6 weeks of preparation leading up to Easter are a gift that the church has given us as we spend time opening ourselves to the transformative love that God has for us in Christ. Our I Am… series is one that invites us to reflect and consider more deeply some of the affirmations of who God is that can strengthen and deepen our faith. There is much going on here at FPCL! My hope and prayer is that in and through the ministry of our church you are being led as you are being fed in your relationship with God and your awareness of Christ's love in your life.
One of those opportunities to be fed this weekend is our Lenten Family Worship Service! We will gather in the Fellowship Hall for contemporary worship in a conversational format. There will be childcare, children’s and student programs as well as a conversation for/with adults – you and your kids will love it! RSVP by going to the Family Worship web page here.
I will look forward to being with you and worshiping with you Sunday.
Grace and Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series; "I Am . . ."
Sunday's Message: The Gate
Scripture: (First text is the focus of the sermon. Passages are printed at the end of this email)
Questions for Reflection:
- How are you intentionally trying to feed your soul during this Lenten season?
- What is/are the purpose(s) of a gate? Where in your life do you experience gates and what impact do they have on you?
- Our church regularly celebrates the differences and diversity of perspective that are present within our congregation. What do you see as the values/strengths of these differences? What challenges are presented as a result of this diversity?
‘Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.