It is not easy for me to slow down, to pause and really think about what Jesus went through on my behalf. It is hard. It can be painful – to focus on pausing, on really taking in what Jesus went through—for me and for you.

Here is a hymn, a meditation, that brings me there, to the foot of the cross. It shines a mirror on my sin; then on the incredible love and sacrifice of my Lord and Savior.
O sacred Head, now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down,

Now scornfully surrounded with thorns, your only crown:

How pale you are with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!

How does that visage languish which once was bright as morn!

 

What you, O Lord, have suffered was all for sinner’s gain;

Mine, mine was the transgression, but yours the deadly pain.

Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ‘Tis I deserve your place;

Look on me with your favor, vouchsafe to me your grace.

 

What language shall I borrow to thank you, dearest friend,

For this your dying sorrow, your pity without end?

O make me yours forever; and should I fainting be,

Lord, let me never, never outlive my love for thee.

Bernard of Clairvaux

– Carol Dieball

Lent is a time to remember and reflect.  So we’ve asked a number of people to share their stories with us.  Today, we hear from Janis Carlson, one of our Deacon Team members…

I cannot recall a time when I did not know about Jesus. My parental home was a God-fearing, God believing wonderful home. The atmosphere in our home left no doubt that Jesus Christ is God’s gift for salvation. Yet, knowing about the Lord is not knowing Him. When I was seven years old, I came home from Sunday School talking about faith as much as a child like me was capable. After talking my mom was with me as I prayed to accept Jesus as my Savior. However, I did not have a clear memory as the time passed. Many friends had dates written in their Bibles recording the time they put their trust in Christ. I had no date. It did cause me some concern. Yet, I knew I believed. I knew Jesus promise was true. So later when someone showed me in the Bible Timothy’s story — Paul said in 2 Timothy Chapter 1 — “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” that’s my story, I thought, just change the names of grandmother and mother. What a happiness I knew.

Years have passed. There have been ups and downs but always a steady sense of God’s love and powerful keeping me in His care. The journey of growth continued and does so today.

I’ve often heard it said that Easter is our most important Christian holiday, trumping

Christmas, but felt that we don’t live it out that way. As a mom, I’ve tried to be

thoughtful about how we celebrate Christmas, and particularly Advent. We try to do

things throughout the season to help our family recognize the true meaning of

Christmas. But what do we do about Lent? How do we “celebrate” Lent? How do we

recognize the true meaning of Easter? Are we (and our children) catching the spirit

of this season, and are we living out the Gospel through our Lenten and Easter

practices?

Part of the trouble is that Lent is quiet, contemplative; there’s even some darkness.

It doesn’t translate as easily into fun family activities. But as wise Solomon tells us,

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven….A time to

cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 4,

NLT) Life is meant to have highs and lows, and a season of dark is necessary for us

to appreciate the light when it comes. Lent is about stepping into what Christ did for

us and considering His preparation for the cross. Our families will benefit from

acknowledging the dark, even though it’s not quite as much fun as counting down

the days before His birth.

– Julie Dahlberg

Lent is a time to remember and reflect.  So we’ve asked a number of people to share their stories with us.  Today, we hear from Bobby Becker, our Director of Children’s Ministry…

“So, I grew up in a Christian home, this very church in fact. Because of this, I have never really

lived without GOD in my life, which will come into play later. The first time that I accepted GOD into my

life was when I was about 5 years old. I was talking with my mom about how to get to heaven and she

explained that I just needed to accept GOD and Jesus into my heart. So I looked up at the ceiling and

with all the seriousness I could muster, commanded, “GOD, Jesus, be in my heart!” My mom chuckled

lovingly and took my hands. We prayed together that GOD would enter my life.

From that point on I walked with GOD. I often didn’t know what that actually meant but

between learning the stories in Sunday School and being spiritually challenged at camp, I had no doubts

that GOD was on and by my side. Right up until 6th grade that is. In 6th grade I was bullied at school. Being

the odd and sensitive boy didn’t go over well with my peers who were also trying to figure out who they

were. I was often made fun of for crying, or being naïve and trusting. I would always fall for the “Look

over there!” pranks. Those that I called friend at school took a different approach, telling me about a

sleepover the day after it happened and purposefully excluding me from conversations by talking about

comics that they knew I hadn’t read. Towards the end of that year, I would come home crying. I felt

unloved, and as though GOD had left me. One day, when I came home in such a state, Mom, Dad, and

Tim were already home and all three did their best to comfort me, truly caring about what I was

struggling with. That evening we went to church where I found out that I had true friends in the youth

group there. After church I realized that GOD had not abandoned me, but instead had surrounded me

with a loving family and friends group that I just had to open my eyes and see. From that point on, I

knew GOD would always be with me.”

Last night at the Ash Wednesday service we closed in silence with a written benediction.  I’ve had a few people request that benediction as a Lenten devotional, so today we give you, “Sending for Ash Wednesday” written by Ann Siddall in Lent to Easter Liturgies: Year C.

 

In the footsteps of centuries of pilgrims,

go now to embark on your Lenten journey.

Consider how you may simplify your days,

so that you may travel lightly.

Read more

LentWe have had many requests for a Lenten Devotional series similar to the one we do at Advent.  But with Lent beginning so early this year and with much going on in the office, we decided early on that we would not put out a publication of Devotionals.  Instead, we would post something here on our website each day through Lent this year.  These devotionals will be found in the Pastor’s Blog section which can be found in the column at the lower right of the screen or by clicking on the graphic to the right.  We will not be posting on days when we gather for worship (Ash Wednesday, Sundays, Good Friday) but the other days will be a variety of devotionals ranging from personal testimonies of our LCC family to devotional thoughts to bible studies to passages of scripture that have meant a lot to us.  So may your Lenten journey be fruitful as you pray, fast, ponder, and prepare for our celebration of the Cross and Resurrection.

LentWe have had many requests for a Lenten Devotional series similar to the one we do at Advent.  But with Lent beginning so early this year and with much going on in the office, we decided early on that we would not put out a publication of Devotionals.  Instead, we would post something on our website (libcov.org) each day through Lent this year.  These devotionals will be found in the Pastor’s Blog section which can be found in the column at the lower right of the home screen.  We will not be posting on days when we gather for worship (Ash Wednesday, Sundays, Good Friday) but the other days will be a variety of devotionals ranging from personal testimonies of our LCC family to devotional thoughts to bible studies to passages of scripture that have meant a lot to us.  So may your Lenten journey be fruitful as you pray, fast, ponder, and prepare for our celebration of the Cross and Resurrection.