As early as the fourth century, Christians have set aside the forty-six days preceding Easter as a time of reflection, confession, repentance, and spiritual renewal. With the joyful anticipation of Easter resurrection, believers commit to disciplines and practices that are intended to deepen their faith in, and widen their love for the crucified and risen Christ. We call this season “Lent.”
While Lenten disciplines vary across the church’s many traditions and denominations, and while there are multiple ways for individual Christians to exercise personal faith in meaningful ways, one of the most powerful practices during this season is the gathering of the Body for corporate worship.
That is why I want you to know about six unique worship gatherings planned for Lent at JCBC.
Ash Wednesday – February 14th at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
The beginning of our Lenten journey formally begins with Ash Wednesday. During this contemplative service of worship, we call upon ourselves to consider our human vulnerabilities, our brokenness and our sin. We offer time for reflection and repentance, as together we marvel at the Grace of God that is greater than all our sin. The mark of the cross is imposed with ash upon the forehead (or back of the hand). Made from burned palm branches of the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration, the imposition of ash is a worshipful reminder that “we are dust, and to dust we shall return” (Genesis 3:19). *Please note: At this service, the brief message will be entitled “Spiral,” and will serve as part eight to our current sermon series, “In the [BE]ginning.”
JCBC Night of Worship – March 1st at 7:00 p.m. in the Family Life Center
On Thursday night, March 1st JCBC will gather for worship in our contemporary worship venue. Adam Courtney and band will lead worshippers in a powerful night of song, scripture, prayer and praise. The primary purpose of this night is the unfettered worship and adoration of our God! In addition, this gathering will also be an excellent opportunity to introduce our friends and neighbors to JCBC’s new contemporary worship service.
JCBC Night of Praise – March 25th at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary
On the evening of Palm Sunday, JCBC will gather once more for worship in our sanctuary. In this service, Glenn Crosthwait, along with our choir and orchestra will lead worshippers in a powerful night of song, scripture, prayer and praise. Similar to the Night of Worship, our primary purpose for this gathering is unfettered worship and adoration. But, Night of Praise is a terrific opportunity to introduce our friends and neighbors to JCBC’s blended/traditional service.
Maundy Thursday – March 29th at 6:30 in the Family Life Center
On the Thursday evening prior to Easter, we will gather for a worshipful time of reflection, remembrance and hope. We will consider the deeply moving events of that night in the life of our Lord and will experience the Lord’s Supper by way of intinction (dipping of the bread into the cup). As we consider the great weightiness of our Lord’s decision to empty his life out on our behalf and take the cup set before him, we too will have the opportunity to drink deeply and trust fully, in great anticipation of the resurrection that is coming.
Stations of the Cross – March 30th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
On Good Friday, the church will be open for worshippers to come and go at will, and to participate in the Stations of the Cross. This creative and experiential worship opportunity involves moving from one worship ‘station’ to the next, where there will be readings, reflections, sights, smells, art, and activities in order to fully engage the worshipper in a multisensory experiential worship event. Worshippers can come anytime between 4:00 pm. and 7:00 p.m., but the event from start to finish usually lasts only 20 minutes in duration.
Easter Sunday – April 1st at 11:00 a.m. in both JCBC Worship Venues
On Sunday morning, April 1st, JCBC will join millions of Christians around the world as we celebrate resurrection of our Lord. Our gatherings will take place 11:00 a.m. in each of our two worship venues: The Sanctuary and The Family Life Center. We will offer both contemporary as well as traditional services on Easter, but at 11:00 only. There will be no Sunday School on Easter morning. As a courtesy to guests, seniors and those who are physically challenged, I am asking all who are physically able to park as far away from the entrances as possible, as we work together to accommodate the great crowds of worshippers who will join us on that day.
This Lenten season offers numerous opportunities to gather with your church family. I pray you will take the opportunity to come to all of these events, and bring someone who needs to experience the strength and beauty of our shared life at JCBC.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Johns Creek Baptist Church