Lent is the period of time in the church calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday through Holy Week, ending on Easter Sunday. It is a period of forty days, not counting Sundays. Traditionally it is a time of somber and sober reflection on the suffering of Christ and the need for salvation from sin and death. The forty days serve as a signpost of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. It is often accompanied with fasting and adding new spiritual disciplines that deepen our relationship with Christ, teaching us to depend more on His provision and grace.
For Lent at HCC this year, we are inviting you to participate in this season in a few ways:
Pastor Jonathan has a Lenten Devotional to use as a guide through each week in Lent. The devotional looks at the 4 servant songs in Isaiah through the lens of Jesus.
Solitude in the Sanctuary (see below) is a time to come and pray in the quiet of the Sanctuary on Saturdays in Lent.
The Easter Prayer Vigil will also begin again starting after the Good Friday Service and end on Easter Sunday. The deacons will provide an opportunity to sign up and prayer resources will be made available as well.
We hope Lent will be a season that enables you to reflect more and more on your need for the cross of Jesus and marvel at the wonderful gift of salvation available to us through trusting in Jesus' atoning death and victorious resurrection.
On the final night of his earthly life, Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. John’s gospel records that during supper, Jesus got up, took off his outer garment, picked up a towel and washed his disciples’ feet. This radical act of servanthood is just one glimpse into Jesus’ fulfillment of the Messiah coming as the Servant of the Lord. Lent is a season of reflecting on our need for the cross. We don’t like to admit the fact that we are sinners. We do a lot of work presenting ourselves as people who have it together and can manage on our own. No matter how hard we try we will never measure up to God’s righteous demands. Our holding it together is all an act. It’s only when we admit our brokenness, our need for help, for healing, that God then can begin his work. We were made to depend on God. Lent is a season where we commit to living out that dependence in a tangible way, either by fasting from something in our lives or adding a discipline to our routine that teaches us how to trust God all the more. The prophet Isaiah pointed the Israelite exiles to the servant of the Lord who would come and restore Israel’s relationship with the Lord and fulfill Israel’s mission to the world. As you read the New Testament, you will see again and again how Jesus willingly accepted this role of servant. This devotional will examine the 4 servant songs of Isaiah and how Jesus fulfills them in his life, death, and resurrection. While the written devotionals are one per week, there is a daily element to this as well. I would encourage you to read the daily readings and incorporate the spiritual discipline suggested. This might be a helpful resource to your family to incorporate a time of family worship. My prayer is that this devotional will deepen your walk with Christ through this season of Lent in a way that will carry on into the seasons beyond. Peace, Pastor Jonathan
Solitude in the Sanctuary We will soon be entering the season of Lent when we are called to a period of reflection and preparation for the celebration of Easter. On the Saturdays during the Lenten season, the church will be open and you are invited to come for Solitude in the Sanctuary. This is an opportunity to come into a quiet place, in solitude before the Lord in prayer. An individual or a family will be able to make an an appointment to sit in the Sanctuary for a time of contemplation, prayer and reflection.
You can sign up for a 1/2 hour time slot by clicking the link below. Joel Costa has prepared a prayer guide to use to guide you through this season of prayer. These are available in the narthex when you come in or you can download them by clicking the link below. An individual or a family will be able to make an an appointment to sit in the Sanctuary for a time of contemplation, prayer and reflection. You may sign up for more than one if you would prefer to spend longer in the Sanctuary.
May God bless you in this unique season of reflection and preparation to celebrate the cross of Jesus.