It is not unusual to think as Lent as a time for repentance, as a time for “sackcloth and ashes.”  But to stay in sackcloth and ashes is to forget an important part of the Gospel story.  When Jesus was asked why his disciples did not fast, he replied, “The wedding-guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15)  So there is a time for fasting, and a time for mourning as well, but there is also a time to simply celebrate being with Jesus.  This is a time of learning,a time of paying special attention to Jesus’ words, and a time of forgoing some other things to make room for Jesus’ work in our lives.  It is in the same spirit that Mary was in while she sat at the feet of Jesus while Martha was working.  Martha complained, and Jesus responded, “Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

We will be giving ourselves to paying special attention to Jesus’ presence with us this Lent through a small group bible study, Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus.  This book, by John Indermark, is composed of a brief weekly overview, and five daily readings a week.  Each of these daily readings examines a particular encounter with Jesus from the gospels, and encourages us in reflection on our own encounters with Jesus and others.  A “Leaders Guide” in the back of the book will guide our small group times in further reflection and sharing.

If you would like to participate in this study, please sign up quickly!  Groups will be formed in the next couple of weeks as we enter Lent.

May God bless us richly as we seek to grow, following and seeking Jesus!

Sign-up sheets are available as you enter the Sanctuary.  You may also sign up by contacting Tori Heatwole or the church office.