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Perspectives on the Passion – Our 2015 Season of Lent at First Church

Christians have observed the season of Lent for more than 1500 years.  Originally it was a time for people to prepare for their baptism on Easter.  Over the years, Lent has become a season when all members of Christ’s Body are encouraged to open wide their hearts and imaginations to the events and meanings of Christ’s sacrifice and suffering on the Cross.  Our 2015 Lenten series, beginning with Ash Wednesday, focuses on the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, often called the Season of Passion.  In this context “passion” relates more to its ancient connection with “pathos” or suffering than it does to our modern sense of passion as intense emotion.  When we speak of Jesus’ passion, we are talking about the time of suffering prior to the cross.  Our Lenten series this year looks at Jesus’ passion from the perspectives of some of the people who observed, participated, or even added to our Lord’s suffering.  By seeing their perspectives, we are challenged to examine and understand our view of Jesus’ suffering for the world, included for us.  Check out the themes for each Sunday here and plan to join us for worship.  We look forward to seeing you.

 

Your Daily Lenten Devotional

 

Your Lenten devotional for Wednesday, March 4……

Special Lent Devotional Series from Today
Text
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4

PRAYING ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL

“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Matthew 26:39
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught his disciples to say, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). In today’s verses Jesus models the process of seeking God’s will. And we can learn from him.
First, Jesus honestly tells his Father that he would like this trouble to pass by him. He really did not want to go through the suffering that he knew was soon coming.
Like Jesus, we should not be ashamed to express our wishes and desires to God. God wants us to know ourselves and to establish an honest conversation with him. But too often we stop there. Our prayers are often only about what we want.
Prayer is a dialogue, and Jesus waits for confirmation of his request. He makes this same request a second time and then a third time. He has confidence that his prayer fits the will of his Father. But eventually he is convinced that his will is not God’s will. So he submits to the fact that the cup of suffering is God’s will for him.
Does this kind of asking and waiting fit how we pray? If our prayer time with God is honest and sincere, it often changes us and moves us in a new direction. We see possibilities that we were blind to before. We receive a deeper capacity to face challenges that once seemed out of reach. Continued prayer assures us of God’s presence and affirms that our destiny is safe in his hands, whatever his will may be.
Christians are sometimes guilty of using the words “If it is God’s will” rather flippantly. But praying that God’s will be done is no easy matter. Our prayers must yield to God’s will, since that is the safest place to be.
PRAYER: Father, help me to truly seek your will as I pray. May your perfect will be accomplished in my life. In Christ, Amen.
— Written by Dean Deppe
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Adult Education

Join us Sunday mornings after morning worship for Adult Education sessions designed to inform and inspire about many topics. Click here for a full schedule of sessions through March. Adult education sessions meet in the sanctuary and begin approximately 11:30 a.m. Join us for Learning with a Purpose!

Appliance Ministry Receives Special Donation

Washer and DryerFirst CRC has coordinated the Appliance Ministry in cooperation with Love In The Name of Christ for over 20 years. The Appliance Ministry volunteers take gently used, donated appliances and delivers them to families and individuals in need in the Tri-Cities area. Love INC meets with families, determines needs and lets the church know if appliances are among their needs.

Love INC recently received donated funds specifically for the Appliance Ministry. Based on our many requests for washers and dryers, Love INC worked with Bekins of Grand Haven resulting in a group purchase of 9 washers and 9 electric dryers. What a wonderful show of support for the Appliance Ministry, Love INC and our families in need in the community!

If you have a gently used, working appliance (washer, dryer, refrigerator or stove) that you would like to donate, please contact Love INC at 616-846-2701, or First CRC at 616-842-6370. Free pick up is provided.