An Introduction to Lent--A Basic Theology
On some level, Lent invites US into the biblical story. Lent is 40 weekdays long. (Sundays aren't counted in Lenten reckoning.) The number 40 occurs frequently in Scripture as a signal of time and space, often in the wilderness and always as time and space where God meets humanity, especially in their deepest need.
A Little Something on Shrove Tuesday, the day BEFORE Ash Wednesday
A beautiful meditation on ashes.
Here's a nice article on "fasting" or "giving things up" for Lent.
And another right here:
"19 Things to Give Up for Lent that AREN'T Chocolate"
Some congregations refrain from "Alleluia" during Lent. Here's why.
Lenten Soup Suppers
Lent is best experienced in community, with fellow Christians and seekers wondering and asking questions about the presence of God's love and mercy revealed in Jesus. (Pastor Mike LOVES questions!) One of the easiest accessible ways of entering into community during Lent is through our Soup Suppers.
Ash Wednesday--Imposition of Ashes
The very beginning of Lent is marked with a solemn worship service called Ash Wednesday. Some features of Ash Wednesday:
OUR LENTEN SCHEDULE--2017
5:30 PM Soup Supper
Each of our Wednesday gatherings begins with a soup supper and fellowship.
Wed., March 1—Ash Wednesday: Introduction--EVERYDAY REFORMERS
7:00 PM Imposition of Ashes
The remainder of our services are our beloved Holden Evening Prayer with Holy Communion
7:00 PM Worship
Wed., March 8— Katie Luther, Keeper of the Household
Wed., March 15—An Accountant for Rome
Wed., March 22—A Nazi Prison Guard
Wed., March 29—A Printer
Wed., April 5—A Barber
Here are some tools and resources that might be helpful to you this season. They are all available at the church--if you'd like to borrow them, please feel free. (Just leave your name with the church office and which resource you're borrowing)
If you'd like to take these home and make them your own--which we WANT you to do--feel free to leave a donation in the office.
All of these can be found through Amazon.com, Augsburg-Fortress.com, or Concordia Publishing House.
Want to learn more about Luther himself?
Here is one of the best biographies anywhere!
Amazon has it available for e-readers, as well, if that's your thing.
Here's a little something on Luther's theology and teaching
If the Reformation is just a historical event that happened 500 years ago...
Or, if it is volumes and volumes of inscrutable theology...
...THEN WE MISS THE POINT.
Luther and the Called Life invites us to consider how it is that WE are called to serve God in our daily lives.
Here are a couple of Devotion Books
Day by Day We Magnify You is actually a year-long devotional. A unique devotional for daily meditation, it dwells on the great themes of Christian piety and is drawn from Martin Luther's sermons and other works. The readings are arranged according to the church year and organized under a central theme for each week. ...Each daily meditation concludes with a prayer, a biblical verse, or a question to ponder.
Drawing from Luther’s Small Catechism, his Large Catechism, and other sources, editor Gracia Grindal here selects forty inspiring passages that raise profound truths about faith and life.
A 40-Day Journey with Martin Luther Includes a short introduction to Luther's life, journal-writing exercises and daily prayers. A rich resource for personal meditation or small group discussion. An inspiring companion anytime. Ideal for traveling through the seasons of Advent and Lent.
For households with kids
How about a POP-UP BOOK about Martin Luther? Here's one.
This is a BEAUTIFULLY illustrated picture book: Martin Luther--A Man Who Changed the World.
Looking for something a little more "hands-on"?
One of the ways that we can "serve God by serving others"--which is what Luther's teaching about "vocation" or "calling" was all about is by providing for those who are need. Below are a couple of resources:
This year will begin the observation of the 500th year of the Lutheran Reformation. It was on October 31, 1517 that Dr. Martin Luther, a German monk and Old Testament professor at the University of Wittenburg nailed his “95 Theses” to the castle church door there in Wittenburg. This document was simply an invitation to the university staff and church hierarchy to talk over and debate these 95 items of concern in the church’s theology and practice. It wasn’t a particularly "Everyday Joe or Jane" kind of document.
But one of the most revolutionary pieces of theology to come out of the Lutheran Reformation was DIRECTLY aimed at Everyday Joes and Janes. Luther’s Doctrine of Vocation focused on daily life as the arena where faith is lived out and explore. Luther asserted that one does not need to be a pastor, monk, nun, or bishop in order to serve God in meaningful or vibrant ways.
As a pastor, Luther wrote words about parents being pastors, bishops, and evangelists to their children. He declared that changing a dirty diaper does as much good (maybe more!) in caring for the world than all the work of popes, bishops, and priests combined!
He encouraged ordinary craftspeople in his town to consider their work of serving others as holy work, whether they made shoes or barrels or sold fish.
And he understood the family table to be as important for faith formation and practice as the church’s altar.
So. What does this mean for US? (A VERY Lutheran question!)
What if we could hear from every day, regular Joes and Janes about how the Reformation impacted them? Could we learn something about our daily lives of faith and practice from theirs?
THAT is the invitation of this year’s Lenten theme: “EVERYDAY REFORMERS.”
How is it that our baptisms commission us for every-day ministry?
How is it that God equips us through the Holy Spirit and through the gifts and talents with which we have been created and borne?
We will NOT be meeting the Reformers themselves, who tended to be pastors, scholars, and theologians (not that those folks are all bad!); we will be hearing from EVERYDAY REFORMERS like yourselves, people who found their lives taken up in meaningful and purposeful ways of devotion, prayer, and service.
AND...each week’s faith story will be presented from a different preacher from other area congregations:
Here is a letter Luther once wrote to his barber (Yes, his barber!) about prayer.