Lent with Hosanna!
Noah spent 40 days in the rain relying on God alone, the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert relearning how to live together, and Jesus spent 40 days in the desert preparing to deliver God’s grace. Each year, we spend 40 days in the season of Lent to focus on improving our spiritual life. Hosanna! offers numerous opportunities for you to join us on this journey . . .
We begin Lent with worship, acknowledging our mortality, and remembering that we need God. We place ashen crosses on our foreheads, remembering that though there are times we feel (and act) like dirt, we belong to God, and God can do amazing things with dirt.
Join us in person for worship on Feb. 22 at 6:30pm or online live at 6:30 or anytime afterwards.
You may also come for drive-up ashes 4:30-5:30. Pull your car into a front parking spot, and Pastor Mike will join you with ashes and prayer.
Each Wednesday March 1-29, we have several opportunities to spend time on your relationship with God, one another, and yourself. Come for any or all parts of the evening . . .
We gather for a simple meal of soup, focusing on the people who gather with us. We’ll begin serving at 5:45, but you are welcome to join any time after that if you can’t make it from work that early. A sign up for bringing soup will be posted in the fellowship hall.
At 6:05, we’ll begin our study: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made--Knowing (and Loving) Our Brains and Bodies. Psalm 139 says that God made us “fearfully and wonderfully.” We’ve all come to dislike some of our physical and psychological parts, but that’s only half of God’s equation. We’ll spend five weeks getting to know ourselves better, seeking ways we can live in harmony with our brains and bodies (including the parts we dislike), and learning to leverage these gifts God has given us at any stage in our lives.
We finish the evening by calming our hearts and settling our minds in prayer and song. We use Holden Evening Prayer, a beautifully simple and musical service that lasts less than 30 minutes. It’s a great opportunity to reset and renew in the middle of a busy week. We won’t livestream this service, but you are welcome to join a past recording online each week.
Rather than producing a written devotional booklet this year, we invite you to spend 5 minutes each day listening to a Bible story. Long before most people could read, our sacred Biblical stories were not read word-for-word. Instead, people were led by the Holy Spirit to share the stories that had touched their souls with children and the people they loved.
Each day during Lent, Pastor Mike will tell a new Bible story in his own words. You’ll be able to listen to the story online, subscribe on your phone via podcast, or watch a video of the telling. The audio, video, and podcast links will be posted online.
If you haven’t read much of the Bible, it’s been a while, or you just want to hear it in a new way, this is for you. In just 5 minutes a day, you’ll experience 40+ Bible stories before you get to Easter.
If you’d also like to spend time with God this season with a printed resource, a book, a smartphone app, or an e-mail/text subscription, we’ve shared a lot of additional devotional resources online. This includes last year’s devotions written by members.
God created us to be beautifully diverse, not just in our bodies and talents, but also in how we think and act. We call this neurodiversity.
During the Sunday sermons this Lent, Pastor Mike will talk about five characters in the Bible who demonstrate that neurodiversity and share how their experiences and relationships with God can inform our own lives and relationships.
February 26 - Noah - God works through quirky people
March 5 - Moses - Impediments can’t stop God’s action
March 12 - Kings Saul and David - Traits that can be both tragic curses and colossal blessings
March 19 - Prophets - God gives some people a unique view of the world for the sake of us all
March 26 - Matthew - God lives in the details, even as we struggle with perfection
Fasting is the age-old practice of giving up for a time the excesses we enjoy. Rather than proving our faithfulness to God, the intent is to simplify our lives, let go of things that are life-taking, and grow closer again to God. If you are considering “giving up” something this lent, take time to think about what is draining you and getting in the way of your relationship with God and others. Pray about it. Then choose what God is leading you to let go.
You might also consider giving up something that enables you to give away something. For example:
Give up buying a coffee or donut each morning, then donate the money saved to a charity you love.
Wake up 5 minutes earlier and use that time to snuggle or read with your child.
Spend 5 minutes less on social media or playing a game, then use those 5 minutes to call someone or write an encouraging note.
Spend less time in the shower or working on your appearance, and use the time to pray for people you know who are sick, hurting, or celebrating.
Take your meal to work, then use money saved to buy a small gift or treat for someone every day.