Friday, March 7, 2014

This Lent at Pleasant Street

"A Place at the Table"

In a culture built on consumption, it’s easy to forget the poor about whom Jesus cared so much.  This Lent we will use the resource, A Place at the Table, to guide us on a life-changing journey of self-examination, discipline, and renewed focus on Jesus.  Through worship, sermons, study, and daily devotions we will be challenged to eat like the poor for forty days in solidarity with them and to donate the money we save on groceries to a charity or project that serves the poor in concrete ways.

Whether you choose to fast by altering your customary diet, or by not eating out, or by avoiding purchases of all non-essentials, or by practicing some other way of putting the brakes on your cravings, we hope that you’ll participate in this endeavor to increase our awareness of others, identify with people living in poverty, and tune our hearts to the heart of Jesus.

Each Sunday our worship will focus on the ways that Lent challenges us to care about those in need. The adult Sunday School class will view and discuss the A Place at the Table DVD series.  Video devotions are available online for each of the forty days of Lent. (You can access them on the church's Facbook page by clicking here.)  And everyone is encouraged to use Chris Seay’s book, which includes daily Scripture readings, reflections, prayers, and encouragement.  

Join us as we go on a journey of radical faith, personal action, and extravagant grace that can change our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters in need all over the world.   

Lent 1 – March 9
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Matthew 4:1-11
“Saying No”
Lenten disciplines help us to say “No” to ourselves and enable us to tame our natural tendency for instant gratification.

Lent 2 – March 16
Isaiah 58:1-12
“The Fast I Choose”
What God wants from us is not just religious obedience and ritual observances, but compassion and care for those in need.

Lent 3 – March 23
Luke 3:1-20
“A Call to Repentance and Generosity”
John the Baptizer calls us to a counter-cultural life that turns away from greed and toward generosity.

Lent 4 – March 30
Matthew 14:13–21
“Performing Miracles”
Jesus calls his followers not to dismiss the needs of others, but to share in his work of providing for them.

Lent 5 – April 6
John 9:1-41
“An Undeserved Birthplace”
Who deserves their lot in life? Are those born into lives of comfort more worthy than those born into poverty?

Palm Sunday – April 13
Matthew 21:1-17
“Wave Your Flag, but Don’t Touch the Treasury”
One biblical commentator suggests that it wasn’t Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem that ticked off the religious authorities, but the fact that he meddled with the finances of the Temple (i.e., overturning the moneychangers’ tables).  Maybe we don’t want Jesus meddling in our finances either.