Sermon Series: The Cross of Christ

By Mark Regis, Associate Priest
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Lent & Easter at St. Paul's

Posted on February 10, 2016

One of the great features of some GPS traffic technology is the “re-route” function. When unforeseen traffic backs up a few kilometers down the road, the device speaks up to provide a smoother way home. But obviously, in order to gain that benefit, you need to use the technology.

In the very first decades following Jesus’s death and resurrection, his followers wondered how to identify themselves as they practiced their faith in the risen Jesus. It wasn’t a series of religious precepts, it was a relationship with God through the Cross of Christ. Very soon, followers of Jesus became known as “followers of the Way” (Acts 9:2) before the term Christianity was adopted. Unlike many philosophical or religious figures, Jesus did not point away from himself toward a path to follow. He taught something absolutely revolutionary, that within his own person, he was that Way.

Shortly before his sacrificial death, Jesus said to his followers, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

The Way he opened up to us leads to and through the Cross, and we will experience a paradoxical reality: we journey towards God, and at the same time realize that through the Cross, God has already come to us. Over the six weeks of our series, the great themes of Perseverance, Contentment, Belonging, and Hope will help guide and shape us.

How do we practice Lent? Like the GPS re-route function, the 40 days of Lent encourages us to utilize spiritual technology or spiritual practices that help to shape and prepare us for the Cross of Christ as well as victoriously participating in his coming resurrected life. Through Fasting, Prayer, and Giving we will learn to avoid spiritual traffic jams as well as clearly see the Way, to find true life through his death.

In Fasting we will step back and abstain from something that has taken too much time and energy. By letting go we will gain perspective and vitality to engage the journey.

In Prayer we are invited to commit at least 15 minutes each day in conversation with God. One helpful resource is a devotional program by Redeemer Presbyterian, Preparing our Hearts. This is available as an App for both Apple and Android devices, or click here.

In Giving we are encouraged to further participate in the self-giving love of Jesus. You could try letting go of non-essential items and donate the money you would typically spend to our Outreach ministries, and/or try volunteering in one of our ministries that serves others.

Join with us this season of Lent as we serve and learn along the Way, the Cross of Christ.