Current Worship Series

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GOLGOTHA: Christ’s Final Statements

March 1st – April 12th – Theme: How Christ’s words from the cross still resonate within us today

Throughout this season of Lent, we’ll focus on the last words of Jesus before he dies on the cross.  We’ll consider his final statements, learning how Christ communicated to us about what mattered most to him. As Jesus’ heart began to slow down, as his breathing decreased, the words that he fought to speak still echo in our hearts and resonate within our soul today.

March 1st – Forgive Them – Luke 23:26-34

Theme: Forgiveness is life giving

Forgiveness is powerful.  To forgive someone isn’t easy, but it is life giving. When we are wronged, when we’re hurt, when we feel angry or sad, our natural reaction is to lash out, to prove ourselves right, or to seek justice. But what we learn from Jesus is there is another way, that God calls us to something different. Christ been tortured, he’s been beaten, whipped and flogged, and now he is nailed to a cross, left to die.  It is in this place, in this situation, that we hear his words, “Forgive them.”

March 8th – You Will Be With Me In Paradise – Luke 23:35-43

Theme: We have value as children of God

Have you ever questioned your value or worth?  Have you ever gotten to a place of no longer caring about your current circumstance, a person in your life, or a hurdle you were trying to overcome.  Have you ever thrown your hands up in the air and just said, “It’s not worth it?”  This compelling story that occurs while Christ hangs on the cross not only illustrates the overwhelming depth of God’s grace for us, but it also shows us what God holds as valuable.  We can’t allow apathy to creep into our hearts, disassociating ourselves from the need to receive that grace as well as extend it to others.  Let’s believe in what Jesus holds as valuable: us.

March 15th – Why Have You Forsaken Me? – Mark 15:29-36

Theme: God is present within our suffering

Christ hangs on a cross dying.  Surrounding the foot of the cross are angry soldiers, a crowd of onlookers mocking him, and a handful of people mourning this tragedy.  On this day, writhing in severe pain, the Savior of the world gasps for breath and asks the question, “Why have you forsaken me?”  Forsaken means abandoned, alone, and deserted.  How many times in the depths of our pain have we felt the same way?  Like God is nowhere to be found.  How many times have we questioned God’s whereabouts because we lacked any sense of comfort or security?  Is this because God isn’t there or because we’ve allowed the pain to overshadow the ever-present glory of the Lord?  Christ’s question could actually be a statement of conviction.  We can make that claim ourselves, as we join Christ in saying, “I feel abandoned, but I know You are still here.”

March 22nd – I’m Thirsty – John 19:28-29

Theme: Remembering our need for God

Have you ever been really thirsty?  The word ‘thirst’ is found all throughout scripture. It is typically linked to the theme of spiritual barrenness, lacking spiritual nourishment; or quite simply thirsting for more of God.  We can relate to what it means to depend on God, to have a need for God.  We can understand what it means to be spiritually thirsty.  In just two short verses from the book of John, we’re given insight into the depth of Jesus’ humanity, as well as the overwhelming reality of the divine nature of who Jesus was.  In his humanity, Jesus suffered.  Yet, in his divine nature Christ was victorious.  So, because of this we too can find hope, knowing that our need for God leads to resurrection.

March 29th – It Is Finished – John 19:30 

Theme: Transforming defeat into triumph

“It is finished.” We tend to think that what Jesus is saying here is that he’s done, his life is over; the pain and suffering has come to an end and his time on earth is complete.  But is that really it?  Instead of it being about something coming to an end, what if this statement was more about celebrating a victory?  What if this wasn’t a cry of defeat, but a declaration of triumph?  What if even the cross itself, which was a symbol for death and fear by the Roman Empire at the time, was transformed by Jesus in this single statement to be a symbol of courage and hope for all humanity?  “It is finished,” is far from final; it means something new is about to begin.

April 5th (Palm Sunday) – Even The Stones Would Shout Out – Luke 19:29-40

Theme: Which king do we let rule in our hearts?

On this day we recognize and remember two processions that occurred during this Passover week.  One overflowing with the pomp and circumstance of imperial power.  The other possessing a more common and ordinary air of importance.  Which king do we seek to welcome into our hearts?  In what ways might we wrestle with how we receive Christ? Do we look for comfort and ease within our Savior or do we possess a willingness to allow for a kingdom based on justice, mercy and love?  When our praise becomes misdirected, Christ reminds us “even the stones would shout out.”  Nothing will stop the true Savior from being praised.

April 12th (Easter Sunday) – Peace Be With You – John 20:19-29

Theme: Having faith in the promise of peace

For some of us, we take pride in claiming that we are faithful followers of Christ.  Yet we’re afraid to admit that deep down inside, we have questions, concerns and doubt.  We wonder, “God, where are you leading me?”  Following the resurrection of Jesus, we find Christ standing before the disciples and saying, “Peace be with you.”  It isn’t until seeing the wounds of Christ’s hands that the disciples come to believe in what they are seeing.  Belief is more than just affirming your faith. To believe in something means to abide in it, to hang on to it, to be fully in relationship with it.  Perhaps our faith should look more like that of Thomas, as we claim, “My Lord and my God,” finding peace in the scars of the Savior’s hands that now hold ours.