“Six weeks of worship guided by our hearing of St. John’s telling of the Jesus story.”
I invite members and friends of Beaver Valley into a Lenten faith experience. More than just study, but our devotional and worshipping, praying lives will be shaped as we dive into the inspirations found in St. John’s gospel.
So, where will this begin? My first encouragement is for the adults of our congregation to find the time to read the Gospel of John before Ash Wednesday. And what I mean is just read it and listen. Let this powerful, fourth gospel (really a stand-alone gospel as compared to the other three gospels that are synoptic: “with” one another) speak to you. Don’t study it as much as find some quiet time to simply hear it.
Then, our Wednesday, Lenten round-robin preaching series, based upon the “I Am” sayings of Jesus as found in St. John’s gospel, will begin on February 14th. The choir will meet to practice at 6:15 p.m., then we will worship at 7:00 p.m. with themed desert nights of fellowship to follow. (see Lenten Worship article in this Tidings). Come and sing the evening hymns and songs of the Church. Come as you are from work. It’s all about taking some time in the middle of our busy lives to quietly admit our need for Jesus who is present for us. The Lenten devotionals, You Are the Way, will daily guide us through the 40 days of Lent using Johannine readings (available on Sunday, January 28th). Preachers will connect the Jesus that is alive in John’s gospel to the worlds in which we live.
But this immersion into the Gospel of John won’t be kept just for Wednesdays. I will also be lifting up key stories and teachings from this gospel in the middle of Sunday worship as well. As I write this brief article, I am spending time each day laying out the preaching texts for the six Sundays of Lent as well as Holy Week. All of the sermons that I write will find their inspiration in the fourth gospel. Once every few years I think it is defendable to step aside from the normal lectionary (appointed) reading schedule of the broader Church to have a chance to “go deep” with a topic.
I trust that God will bless us as we pay special attention to the Gospel of John in February and March.
Pastor Greg Johnson