Saturday, April 05, 2014

Lenten Welcome Message

One of the customs at Living Water Lutheran Church in Springboro, Ohio, is to have a special seasonally-related welcome to worshipers in the front of the bulletin. This is the welcome we've been using this Lenten season:
Welcome to Living Water Lutheran Church! We pray that you will feel welcomed as we worship the God we know through Jesus Christ.

You’re with us at a special time in the Church Year known as Lent. For centuries, Lent has been a forty-day season of spiritual renewal and preparation that precedes Easter Sunday. (Easter Sunday is April 20, this year.)

Lent emphasizes other aspects of Christian belief:

  • The suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross, where He took the punishment for sin all human beings deserve so that all who repent and believe in Him will share in the victory over sin and death Jesus won when He rose from the dead.
  • Personal repentance and renewal is another emphasis of Lent. While repentance and renewal should be an ongoing element of the Christian life, this season is set aside to encourage believers to especially focus on them.
  • Preparation for Baptism or Affirmation of Baptism for those coming to the faith or preparing to publicly declare their allegiance to Christ.

This Lent, at Living Water, we’re looking at five building blocks of Christian living and the mission and ministry of the Church. Each of the building blocks are faithful responses to our being saved by God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. These five building blocks, describing behaviors of the Christian, aren’t ways we earn God’s love. They are what we offer, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in us, as a response to God’s love, freely given in Christ.

The five building blocks are:

1. Loving God
2. Loving neighbors
3. Loving fellow believers
4. Sharing our faith and making disciples (or followers of Jesus)
Personally growing in our discipleship
We hope that you will join us in this journey during Lent. We pursue it not because we’re perfect. We’re not. We do it because we love the Lord Who loved us--and you--first...because we’re grateful for His grace, love, and mercy. Welcome!