Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands, robed in the flowers of blooming spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer; He makes our sorrowing spirit sing. "Beautiful Savior" author unknown
Lent Is For Sinners
Who is Lent for? It is only for sinners! Our worship pattern is as follows:
Which kind of sinner are you? (Ash Wednesday)
There are really only two people in church on Ash Wednesday. One is quite comfortable and self-satisfied. Would that we had more people in the world who lived as he lived. He has made good use of God’s blessings, and, as far as he is concerned, that proves that he deserved them. The other person is more honest. He knows he’s a wretch, deserving of nothing. He knows he’s not a good guy. He knows he’s a sinner. That’s who Lent is for, sinners. If you don’t come to Lent as a sinner you will miss the whole point. The real question is not whether you are a sinner or not, but which kind of sinner are you?
Who struggle with temptation
The call to sinners in Lent is the serious call to struggle. While we may throw out and leave behind many trivial outward practices of Lent, let’s not throw out repentance in the process. Let’s not replace the trivial externals with something even worse: assurances that we are so forgiven we need not bother anymore with repentance. As long as the tempter is on the prowl there must be repentance. There must be a struggle even for the forgiven sinner.
Who submit to life under the cross
Here’s the stark reality: the love of God is inseparably connected to the cross, both his and ours! The price of our salvation is steep indeed! The suffering was as real as the resurrection which followed it. The cross of the Christian is likewise as real as the glory which follows it. In both cases, no cross, no crown! In Christ’s case the cross is redemptive. Our cross drives us to his cross both for forgiveness and for strength. Therefore, the forgiven sinner denies himself, submitting to the cross willingly.
Who are serious about God’s Word
People in Jesus’ day seemed to assume that they had a license to do whatever they pleased, even in the temple. Not much has changed, has it? But Jesus would have none of it. He is serious about his Word and about his house and what went on there. For the temple and its sacrifices were supposed to mirror what Jesus himself was: God’s dwelling place on earth! Let no one think now that Jesus has lost any of his zeal for the house of the church and his sanctuary in the gospel. So great is his love that he continues dwelling in his sanctuary of Word and sacrament to this day, and through them dwelling in us as his temples.
Who are satisfied in Christ
Lent can seem like an overwhelmingly sorrowful season. Christ on the cross is horrible to look at since his suffering is what we deserve to suffer and a reminder of the greatness of our sin and guilt. But only at the cross do we even begin to grasp the depth also of God’s love. He himself turns our eyes to that tree and gives us the balm of healing that lasts into eternity. Traditionally this Sunday was called Laetare, Rejoice Sunday. We rejoice in the middle of Lent that God has so fully and so perfectly taken to heart our only real need as sinners, and satisfied it in Christ.
Who suffer humiliation
We properly distinguish between Christ’s state of humiliation and his state of exaltation. But on this Sunday Jesus makes these astonishing declarations: He sees his glory as beginning with his ultimate humiliation. He has come to suffer. He has come to die. As horrible as that will be, and as deeply as he will feel it all, he looks ahead to the fruit of his Passion. And what is the fruit of his Passion? That he can finally leave and be rid of us and all our foolishness and perversity? No, not at all! It is rather that by his cross he may draw us to himself! That is his glory! And that is what allows us to willingly suffer for him, too.
Who are saved by the lowly King (Palm Sunday)
Who is he? He is the King of kings most lowly. Who is he? He is the King of kings who unlike any other king has come to save us. Throw the robes of your own righteousness under his feet, so that he may dress you with the robe of his righteousness. Wave the palm branches God made and gives, those symbols of eternal life, in salute. He delights in and receives your trust in him for eternal life, the trust that he himself has given you in his Word. Blessed is he, for he will finish what he has begun! For that reason and none other, blessed are we! Hosanna in the highest!
At 720 Old Trolley Road in Summerville worship is at 8:00 am and 10:30 am with Sunday School and Bible Class at 9:15 am.
At 134 Foxbank Plantation Drive in Moncks Corner worship is at 10:30 am with Sunday School and Bible Class at 9:15 am.