I am not giving up something for Lent…I am adding something to my journey to the cross

img_20170301_162211Most of the time during lent people spend the day thinking about what they are going to be giving up for Lent. For me I have never really found that helpful for my spiritual formation. Giving up sweets makes me angry.  Giving up chocolate would make me down right angry.  Mostly I would be thinking all day about how I missed that food or thing I gave up.  For me it doesn’t point me to Jesus. I want you all to know I don’t find anything wrong with giving something up for lent as it is certainly a spiritual discipline of fasting.  Fasting is a time honored way of strengthening ones faith. For me however it has never been appealing or truly beneficial.

So today I decided to do something different.  I decided instead of taking something away I am going to add something to my family’s life.  We are going to spend the next 40 days reading through the Gospels.  We are going to spend this time on the journey to the cross following Jesus’ journey to the cross.  I know for me reading the scripture brings it alive.  I am excited for this journey and would challenge you to think about it as well.

In the reading schedule I gave myself a day off because lets be honest having a day off is needed sometimes.  Life can be crazy busy. I don’t need something else to give me more guilt for messing up.  So below is the plan.

My goal this Lenten season is to journey to the cross with my Lord and Savior. My prayer is that many of you will join in this journey. Let us be in the Word together as we make this journey to the cross and see these great things he has done for us.

in Christ,


Lent Reading Plan: 2017

2-Mar Matthew 1-3
3-Mar Matthew 4-6
4-Mar Matthew 7-9
5-Mar Break
6-Mar Matthew 10-Matthew 12
7-Mar Matthew 13-Matthew 14
8-Mar Matthew 15-Matthew 16
9-Mar Matthew 17-Matthew 18
10-Mar Matthew 19-Matthew 20
11-Mar Matthew 21-Matthew 22
12-Mar Take a Break
13-Mar Matthew 23-Matthew 24
14-Mar Matthew 25-Matthew 26
15-Mar Matthew 27-Matthew 28
16-Mar Mark 1-Mark 3
17-Mar Mark 4-Mark 6
18-Mar Mark 7-Mark 9
19-Mar Take a Break
20-Mar Mark 10-Mark 12
21-Mar Mark 13-Mark 14
22-Mar Mark 15-Mark 16
23-Mar Luke 1-Luke 3
24-Mar Luke 4-Luke 6
25-Mar Luke 7-Luke 9
26-Mar Take a Break
27-Mar Luke 10-Luke 12
28-Mar Luke 13-Luke 14
29-Mar Luke 15-Luke 16
30-Mar Luke 17-Luke 18
31-Mar Luke 19-Luke 20
1-Apr Luke 21-Luke 22
2-Apr Take a Break
3-Apr Luke 23-Luke 24
4-Apr John 1-John 2
5-Apr John 3-John 4
6-Apr John 5-John 6
7-Apr John 7-John 8
8-Apr John 9-John 10
9-Apr Take a Break
10-Apr John 11-John 12
11-Apr John 13-John 14
12-Apr John 15-John 16
13-Apr John 17-John 18
14-Apr John 19-John 20
15-Apr John 21


The begining of the journey…Hosanna


The beginning of a journey is sometimes the most interesting part. Last Sunday morning we saw a pretty amazing storm run through Big Rapids Michigan. Trees were all over and the power was out for many people.   When I made it to church early Sunday morning we had no power and no heat.  It was going to be an interesting beginning to our journey of holy week.  Yet 56 people came to celebrate Palm Sunday.  I was amazed by the willingness of people who had no power and probably more important for many no coffee, make it to worship.  As a staff we gathered at Church and wondered what we should do.  We felt that when people came we should worship. So we got up there and did it.  The light was shining in for the beginning of the service but mid way through clouds came rolling back in and you could hardly see. Pastor mid sermon had to get a light just to read from the scripture for the message. It has to be the first time I have ever seen anything like it.  It was amazing and probably one of the most profound worship services I have every been to.  (By the way at late service we had power which made doing the songs and screens we had planned for that service much easier.)

Holy week for a church worker is always busy and hectic, however it is one of my favorite times of year.  I love the way our worship service really lasts all week.  It is a continuation of the story.  Palm Sunday is the beginning with our king coming to fulfill what he was meant to do.  He was meant to be the Messiah who has come to save us.  While sitting in the dark I was struck by how amazing it is that we have a God who loved us enough to come in our dark place and be our Messiah.  As we shout hosanna, God save us, I am reminded of our need for that savior Jesus.  For six weeks we have waited.  We have gone through lent and examined the destruction of sin.  We have seen the “storms” come upon us.  Sunday we examined the real reason Jesus came. He came to save us.  He came as a servant who will give himself freely on our behalf.  The one who calmed the storm, cast our demons and raised the dead has come to bring us hope in our storm.

This week as you enjoy the journey.  As you spent time with Jesus on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday may you be reminded of the reason the king came to Jerusalem.  Not to be crowned the great king but to be the great servant king.  May we remember that even in our dark places Jesus has come to save us.  And to that we shout hosanna!! God save us! Enjoy the journey my friends.