The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 18. The Lent sermon series is titled: I Am. Lent has been practiced by God’s people for hundreds of years as a way to refocus our lives on Christ and to experience his renewing touch. This Lent as a community of Jesus we are going explore the “I Am” sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John. Our hope is that we will come to understand better who Jesus is and what being a disciple of Jesus means each day. You are invited to join others from Thornapple on a 40 day journey through the Gospel of John. There are three ways that you can access the Reading Plan as follows:
- Pick up a daily scripture reading plan bookmark at the Welcome Center starting February 15.
- Access the reading plan, scriptures and reflections written by Thornapple members online click on: Thornapple Lent Reading Plan 2015.
- You can download and print a hard copy of the reading plan by, clicking here.
Below are the dates, topics and texts for the Sunday and special worship services during Lent.
- February 18 Ash Wednesday - Giving Up; Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18
- February 22 - I Am the Bread of Life; John 6:30-51
- March 1 - I Am the Light of the World; John 8:12-20
- March 8 - I Am the Good Shepherd; John 10:1-21
- March 15 - I Am the Way, Truth and Life; John 14:1-14
- March 22 - I Am the Vine; John 15:1-17
- March 29 Palm Sunday - I Am the King; John 12:12-19
- April 2 Maundy Thursday - I Am the Servant; John 13:1-17
- April 3 Good Friday - I Am the Savior; John 19:1-37
- April 5 Easter Sunday - I Am the Resurrection; John 11:17-26; John 20:1-18
holy week 2015 schedule
Sunday, March 29 Palm Sunday: Worship services are at 9:00 am for contemporary worship and 10:30 am for blended worship. Childcare is provided.
Tuesday, March 31 Ecumenical Breakfast (area churches participate) at 9 A.M. The location will be announced later.
Thursday, April 2 at 7:00pm: Maundy Thursday Communion service for all ages. Childcare will be provided.
Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3 Stations of the Cross:
The Community Room will be open for a self-guided interactive journey through the Stations of the Cross. Allow 30 minutes. Children are welcome to come, too. Open:
- Thursday 9am to 4pm and 6pm to 9pm
- Friday 9am to 4pm and 7pm to 10pm.
Friday, April 3 Good Friday:
- 12:00 pm: There will be an ecumenical service (area churches participate) at 12noon to 1:00pm on Good Friday. The location of this service will be annouced later.
- 8:00 pm: At Thornapple there will be a service at 8:00pm remembering Christ's death on the cross. Childcare will be provided.
Sunday, April 5 Easter: There will be two worship services on Easter as follows:
- 9:00 am for contemporary worship
- 10:30 am for blended worship
Childcare is provided. There are no adult, student or children's classes on Easter Sunday. Classes will resume on April 12.
For Lenten Resources (devotionals, etc.), click here. There is also a limited amount of devotional booklets at the Welcome Center for families and adults.
Background of Lent by Rob Peterson:
Lent is a time of self-examination, repentance, self-denial, conversion and growth. It lasts for forty days, excluding Sundays, and begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on the Saturday before Easter.
Lent has a long history in the life of the church. In the early church candidates for baptism had to undergo an intense time of preparation (as long as two years) for the baptism service that was held once a year on Easter Sunday. The preparation was a time of study, prayer, fasting, and self examination. Eventually the church as a whole joined in this time of preparation for Easter – a time of celebrating Christ’s risen life.
Over time Lent became connected to the 40 days of wilderness preparation experience of Jesus and to the events of what became known as Holy Week – the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Worship spaces are often decorated in purple which is the color of Lent. The word Lent has come to mean springtime or new life and many congregations invite their people into a season of spiritual spring cleaning. Many people are familiar with the practice of giving something up for Lent. This tradition for some is rather silly – I am giving up road rage for Lent! But the practice when done with integrity is meant to foster a stronger will, one that intentionally chooses to make room for God amidst all the competing realities of life. Giving something up for Lent is a choice to say no to lesser desires so that we can say a greater yes to God.
At its heart Lent is a journey into wholeness, a participation in God’s mission of redemption. The journey of Lent for believers follows the journey of Christ to the cross, the tomb, and resurrection. It is a corporate practice that joins believers to Christ’s way of humility and dependence on God. In many ways, Lent is an invitation to a form of dying and rising. Practiced well, Lent nurtures a greater knowledge and love of Christ and a more realistic understanding of believer’s frailties, finitude and need of help from God.