LENT AT GOOD SHEPHERD
Did you ever make a promise as a kid using the words, “cross my heart”?
That action of crossing your heart made the secret you kept or the bond you made that much more sacred. Hearts and promises are the themes for the season of Lent at Good Shepherd this year. Lent 2024 begins with Ash Wednesday, which this year also happens to be Valentine’s Day.
It doesn’t always happen that the day our culture focuses most on love is also the day we remember God’s promise to be present with us in life and in death. And the indulgent ways we show people we love them, usually with chocolates and flowers, may not seem to fit together well with the more somber reflection, with ashes and repentance, on why we need God. But the combination of Ash Wednesday with Valentine’s Day can serve as the perfect framework for our Lenten journey.
During Lent, we are called into a time of reorienting our hearts toward the God who sent Jesus Christ into our world to die for us and save us from our sins. The 40 days in between Ash Wednesday and Holy Week are meant to be an opportunity to let go of what is getting in our way and to make Christ our center again. And by doing so, we hear the promises of God.
That centering and reorienting of our lives is meant to inspire us to then go and love the world God created and to love the people God loves indulgently. With a cross on our heart, we hear God’s sacred promises for us: to love us, forgive us and never leave us. Join us this Lent!
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Wednesday, February 14
We begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of fasting and repentance. Marking our foreheads with dust, we acknowledge that we die and return to the earth. At the same time, the dust traces the life-giving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at baptism. We humbly pray for God to make our hearts clean while we rejoice that “now is the day of salvation.” Returning to our baptismal call, we more intentionally bear the fruits of mercy and justice in the world.
Madison Campus 12 p.m. & 7 p.m. | Verona Campus 7 p.m
Sunday, February 18 & 25
This Lenten season, our church will explore what the promises of God mean for our walks of faith. We’ll start this season with a two-part Conversation Series, looking at what it means to be part of these promises. Read more on the topic here.
Madison Campus 9 a.m. | Verona Campus 10 a.m. & 6 p.m.
Wednesdays at 12:00 p.m.
During Lent, we will once again offer a midweek worship service. This contemplative worship service will feature Marty Haugen’s “Holden Evening Prayer” while we continue to explore our theme: “Things are not as they are supposed to be” through music, scripture, reflections and prayer. Join us Wednesdays at 12 p.m. at the Madison Campus for in-person worship with an online stream available each week.
Faith Formation Opportunities
Journal throughout Lent
Throughout the forty days of Lent, you’re invited to bring this journal with you each week to worship as we explore God’s promises to us. Take time to record the questions that are prompted by the readings, songs, sermons and conversations you experience in worship. The pages of this journal are space for you to reflect on what you are thinking, feeling and learning.
Journals available in the Madison & Verona Lobbies
WATCH & DISCUSS
The Chosen | Season Three
Join Good Shepherd members each week in Lent for an experience of the story of Jesus in a new way. The Chosen is a multi-season show that has been watched by millions - helping to start new conversations and provide a thought-provoking perspective on the life and ministry of Jesus and his followers. Each week we'll watch an episode with some snacks and discuss in small groups.
Contact: Eric Holmer
6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Madison Campus | Starting February 20
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