Dear New Life Friends,
What a beautiful set up to tell the story!
That’s what I’ve been thinking ever since I realized that Lent began on Valentine's Day and Easter landed on April Fool's Day!
Lent is the season of 40 days prior to Easter (not including Sundays) that for centuries has been marked out by the church in order to prepare for Easter. The message and reality of Easter is too huge to just stumble upon, so this is our opportunity to try to deepen our hearts and expand understanding in our minds.
Valentine's Day is a day of love, honor and respect. For the follower of Jesus, it is also a reminder of the extravagant love of God. The generosity of God extends to the entire world and is demonstrated by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins. Love is self-sacrificial and there can be no better demonstration of it than one person giving their life for another. You are God’s valentine!
During the season of Lent this year, we are going on a journey called the 7 Mile Miracle written by Pastor Steven Furtick, which explores in depth the last words of Jesus on the cross and the walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus by some disciples following the resurrection (Luke 24). Each week we are going to explore a different spiritual discipline by which God reveals himself to his people. As we engage in these means of grace such as prayer, fasting, reading scripture, Christian conversation and others, we will be given new ways to see God's work all around us, within us and through us.
That will lead us to Easter, perhaps the greatest April Fool's joke in all history! (see sermon on April 1 for details :)
I’m excited about this season of life together. We will be challenged and inspired.
Time to strap on our walking shoes!
Grace, Love and Peace,