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Return to the Lord - Lent at Our Shepherd

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The Bible includes bold, vivid, and terrifying imagery for coming judgment of God, the Day of the Lord. In the Book of Joel, in the middle of frightening imagery about the end times, we find a tender invitation from the Lord: “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster” (Joel 2:13). God’s invitation and promise finds its fullness in Jesus Christ. Even during the terrifying and vivid imagery of the Passion, God invites us to find our peace in Him.
 
During this season of Lent, we will consider the theme “Return to the Lord” and examine how the call to return played out in practical ways for the people who walked alongside Christ as He demonstrated and carried out God’s grace and mercy on our behalf. When Jesus took on God’s wrath, Jesus set the stage for our heavenly Father to “turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him” (Joel 2:14).
 
Each worship service in this series focuses on a particular event in the Passion, with a special focus on the people involved in the event. We will hear how we have turned away from the Lord through our sins, and reinforce and rejoice in God’s call for us to return to Him with all our heart.
 
Lent Midweek Services
Ash Wednesday, February 17 at 6:30pm
“A Call to Return” Joel’s prophecy is dark and terrifying. In the midst of the fright we will hear God’s word declare, “Return to the Lord! I am gracious and merciful, and I will bless you.”
 
Wednesday, February 24 at 6:30pm
“Return to Prayer” We will focus on Peter, James, and John, and how their time in the Garden of Gethsemane helps us hear God’s call to pray.
 
Wednesday, March 3 at 6:30pm
“Return from Betrayal” This sermon explores the theme of betrayal, specifically the ways we betray one another and Jesus through our denials and rejections.
 
Wednesday, March 10 at 6:30pm
“Return from False Witness” During the trial of of Jesus before Caiaphas and the Council, false witnesses made accusations against Jesus. In this sermon we will examine what God means in the Eighth Commandment when He said that you should “not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). What do we do when our failures lead us away from God?
 
Wednesday, March 17 at 6:30pm
“Return from Denial”
Peter stood in the courtyard, watching His Lord and master being wrongfully accused, having promised that he was ready to follow Jesus both to prison and to death. Peter denied Jesus. Is it possible to return to the Lord after our weaknesses are revealed?
 
Wednesday, March 24 at 6:30pm
“Return to the Kingdom of God”
Pontius Pilate ruled from his headquarters and was forced to wrestle with the question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38), but the real question is “Who is truth?” In this sermon, we will explore how Jesus calls us to return to His rule and reign so He can pour out blessings on us.
Posted by Evan Gaertner

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