Lent is already upon us, beginning with Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day and concluding with Easter on April Fool’s Day (it is a unique year to have these holy days connected with other holidays). During Lent this year we hope to learn more about our God through learning more about Jesus. To do this we will be exploring Jesus’ “I AM” statements from the Gospel of John each week in worship.
When we hear Jesus explain who he is beginning with the words “I am…” our minds should immediately be drawn back to Exodus when God revealed the divine name to Moses:
But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ What should I say to them?” God said to Moses “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, "Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:1314)
Jesus in John’s Gospel intentionally connects himself back to this scene in Exodus with his “I AM” statements. And through John’s Gospel, we learn that
Jesus is bread, light, good shepherd, gate of the sheep, vine, way of life, and resurrection. Each of these statements not only teaches us a little of who Jesus is, but because Jesus is the image of his Father, we also learn about God’s heart and God’s desire to be known.
As we dive in deeper to the ways Jesus has revealed himself in scripture we will also consider what it means for us as his faithful followers. Again this year, we will have Wednesday evening services during Lent to give us another opportunity to engage our faith during this holy season. We will begin with an Ash Wednesday service on February 14 at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. Then each consecutive week we will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 7:00pm for a service and time to fellowship. Once again the messages for these services will be brought by different people from within our congregation. Each theme will connect with the following Sunday’s theme in worship:
- February 14 (Ash Wednesday Service) - If Jesus is, then we are his
- February 21 - If Jesus is Bread, then we are hungry
- February 28 - If Jesus is Light, then we are lanterns
- March 7 - If Jesus is the Good Shepherd, then we are the sheep
- March 14 - If Jesus is the Vine, then we are the branches
- March 21 - If Jesus is the Way, then we are pilgrims on a journey