Lent and holy week 2014
The season of Lent began with Ash Wednesday on March 5. For the Lent Sunday worship schedule and corresponding scripture texts, click here. The 2014 Lenten season theme is: Earth Tones: The Landscape of Lent
For Lenten Resources (devotionals, etc.), click here. There is also a limited amount of devotional booklets at the Welcome Center for families and adults.
2014 HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE:
Sunday, April 13 Palm Sunday: Worship services are at 9:00 am for contemporary worship and 10:30 am for blended worship. Childcare is provided.
Thursday, April 17 at 7:00pm: Maundy Thursday Communion service for all ages. Childcare will be provided.
Thursday and Friday, April 17 and 18 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 18 Good Friday:
- 12:00 pm: There will be an ecumenical service for local churches at 12noon to 1:00pm on Good Friday. This year it will take place at Thornapple Community Church located at 3260 Thornapple River Dr. SE. The community is invited to attend.
- 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 20 Easter: There will be THREE worship services on Easter as follows:
- 9:00 am for contemporary worship
- 10:30 am for blended worship
- 12:00 pm for contemporary worship
Childcare is provided. There are no adult, student or children's classes on Easter Sunday. Classes will resume on April 27.
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 (March 5, 2014) and ends on the Saturday (April 19, 2014) before Easter Sunday (April 20, 2014).
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.