40 Days With Jesus

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The cross of Jesus. The main thing. For well over a thousand years many Christians have set aside the 40 days (not counting the Sundays) prior to Easter as a time of self-examination, reflection, and renewal in order to keep the main thing –Jesus and His cross - the main thing. This is why we add Wednesday worship during this time. This year, we will focus on Jesus as he enters the lives of those around Him; and in so doing, enters our lives as well. He is the main thing. These Wednesdays are meant to help us as we refocus our eyes on Him!

Wednesday, February 10th  Simon Peter: It Feels Like We Lost (Failure) Ash Wednesday                                                      

Failure. I remember losing a championship game 3 yards from the winning touchdown. Devastating. Failure. I remember embarrassing my father because of something wrong I did. Devastating. Failure. I remember failure after failure before God. How about you? It’s not hard. My life is full of them. Devastating. Failure. It always feels like I lost. But no matter how I feel, Jesus is greater…and he won for me….and for you! From ashes….to victory!

Wednesday, February 17th       John the Baptist: It Feels Like God is On the Move!  (Starting Over)

When I was growing up, we spent hours shooting hoops on the basket that my dad had put up on the garage. Every once in a while my dad would get home from work, and seeing us playing, would walk over and say, “one shot!” We would, of course, joyfully pass him the ball...and if he made it, great. If not, he often would say, “One more,” “one more,” “one more,”….until he finally made one. Where do you need “just one more?” Where do you need to “start over?” As we will see with John the Baptist, this is what Jesus is all about!

Wednesday, February 24th       Simon Peter: It Feels Like Dad Strength  (A New Mindset)

Have you ever heard of the West Coast Offense? If you are a football fan, you have. Before the San Francisco 49’ers with Bill Walsh popularized it, the mindset of almost all of the coaches of the NFL was that an offense had to be built around running the football –and only then could you pass effectively. Bill Walsh with the West Coast Offense turned this thinking around. Mindset. It is the way we see something or someone. It is very hard to change. It takes someone strong and influential in our lives to change our mindset. Enter Jesus….for both Peter and for us!

Wednesday March 2nd        Widow in the Temple: It Feels Like Being Rescued   (Good News!)

Both of my sons were lifeguards. One of the things that always amazed me was that how in their training they were taught to be explosive –almost violent- in order to rescue someone. Have you ever been rescued…when you really needed it? What did it feel like? How strong and explosive did your rescuer need to be?  Today, we focus on those life and blood things from which Jesus rescues us. He is strong, explosive –almost violent – and powerful for you! Good News!

Wednesday, March 9th              Nicodemus: It Feels Too Good To Be True  (Freedom!)

But wait! We will give you another one absolutely free…just pay shipping and handling… Sometimes things are too good to be true, aren’t they? Today, we join Nicodemus as he was “blown away” by the things of Jesus which, while perhaps too good to be true, are true. And they are true for you as well. Freedom!

Wednesday, March 16th                    God’s Voice in the Thunder:  It Feels Like Something’s  Going To Happen  (Anticipation)

A child waiting for Christmas…on Christmas Eve. A football fan waiting for the kickoff of the Super Bowl when your team is playing in it. A parent waiting for their child’s name to be called at their college graduation ceremony. Anticipation. It’s like you can feel the excitement in the air. Today, we join the anticipation of hearing “God’s Voice in the Thunder.”

Maundy Thursday, March 24th      Flesh and Blood Presence

Have you ever seen or read about those massive radio transmitters that are searching the galaxy for other life? It seems that we just don’t want to believe that we are alone. It is scary…and somehow, deep down, we know not right. Today, we remember that we are not alone and that Jesus took time out “on the night that He was betrayed” to make sure we know it. We are not alone. He is present in our flesh and blood reality with His true flesh and blood. He is not far away. He makes His home within us!

Good Friday, March 25th               Father, Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit

The bottom line. After the beating and the crown of thorns and the nails and the crucifixion and the jeering and the ridicule….even after being utterly forsaken by the Father, how could He do this? And more importantly, can we?