Lenten Sermon Series
"Savior: What the Bible Says about the Cross"
Lent reminds us of Jesus' passion, including his death on the cross. The cross sets us right with God in what we call the atonement. Exactly how this works has been a source of creative thought and debate over the history of the Church (Theories of the Atonement). The Bible uses many images to understand the meaning of Jesus' death and resurrection. Through the Sundays of Lent, we will explore these various images as well as the mystery of salvation through the cross, as we seek to deepen our love for God and others, and strengthen our commitment to follow Jesus.
During Lent, we will also use a different musical arrangement for our Communion liturgy. The Deutsch Messe by Franz Schubert is said to be neither German, nor a Mass. Though the lyrics were in German, he was Austrian, and the Church of his day banned its use in the Mass because it was not in Latin. He intended these songs to be contemplative hymns sung by the people as they experienced Mass (Communion) – whose language many of them did not fully understand.
First Sunday in Lent
I Peter 2:20-24; Romans 3:23-26
Sermon: "Substitution: Jesus Takes Our Place"
Second Sunday in Lent
Acts 16:16-29; Luke 4:16-30
Sermon: "Ransom: Jesus Sets Us Free"
Daylight Savings Time begins.
Third Sunday in Lent
I John 3:11-24; Matthew 5-7
Sermon: "Moral Example: Jesus Show Us How to Live"
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Girl Scout Sunday: We celebrate the ministry of Girl Scouting.
UMCOR Sunday: We celebrate the ministry of United Methodist Committee on Relief as they go to places from which others flee! By a special offering today we underwrite the "cost of doing business" so that UMCOR always keeps its promise that 100% of gifts to specific disasters go to that need.
Acts 2:1-21; Ephesians 3:13-14
Sermon: "Reconciliation: Jesus Restores Our Relationship"
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Psalm 51; Leviticus 16:11-16
Sermon: "Cleansing: Jesus Makes Us Clean"
Palm-Passion Sunday: We remember the events of Jesus' last week of earthly life from the joy of Palm Sunday through the pain of his betrayal, crucifixion and death on Good Friday. As we do this, we see ourselves in the crowds that acclaimed Christ King and shouted for his destruction.
Gospel of the Palms: Matthew 21:1-11; Psalms 118:12, 19-29
Gospel of the Passion: Matthew 26:36-47
Sermon: "In the Garden"
* First Sunday of Easter: We celebrate the Festival of the Resurrection.
Colossians 2:6-15; Matthew 28:1-20
* Easter Sunrise Service at Tydings Park – 6:30 AM (we worship together with our siblings in Christ from First Christian Church).
Through the remaining Sundays of the season of Easter, leading up to Pentecost, we will engage in a series of sermons reminding us of the valuable fundamentals for a life of faith and the commitments that are foundational to our identity as disciples of Christ our risen Lord.
Second Sunday of Easter
I Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
Sermon: "Becoming a Believer" – Jesus understands our doubts.
Easter Cantata: "In the Presence of Jehovah"
This cantata shows us Jesus' life through individual characters who each came into Christ's presence in different ways, but who were all changed by that encounter. It is amazing to be in the presence of holiness, mercy and love. In the presence of Jehovah we find forgiveness, joy and fulfillment. When we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is hope for a future in which we will worship like never before in the presence of Jehovah.
Third Sunday of Easter
Native American Ministries Sunday: We celebrate United Methodist ministries among and by Native Americans, and receive a special offering in support of these efforts.
Festival of God’s Creation: We remember our call to be stewards of God’s creation and thank God for the wonders of the natural world.
Sermon: "Seeing Jesus" – Jesus is with us all the time.
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:42-47; John 10:11-16
Sermon: "Coming Together" – We need the power of community.
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Celebration of Holy Communion (11)
Sermon: "Asking for Help" – When we are baffled by our faith it is good to ask questions.
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Festival of the Christian Home: We celebrate and encourage the nurture provided within the Christian home.
Acts 17:22-31; John 14:15-21
Sermon: "Lighting the Way" – Light the way as we all grope in the dark.
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Ascension Sunday: We remember Christ's ascension and our mandate to be his presence in the world.
Isaiah 37:31-32; Acts 1:6-14
Sermon: "Seeking Guidance Together" – We need each other for guidance and help, and we draw strength for shared prayer.
Pentecost: We celebrate the gift of God's Holy Spirit and the Birthday of the Church.
Memorial Sunday: We remember those who have died in our nation's wars and honor those who have served.
Acts 2:1-21; I Corinthians 12:4-13
Sermon: "Being Moved" – We are called to keep watch together for the presence of the Spirit, knowing that all who are part of the body of Christ are valued.