The tangible experience of ashes, and the sharing of Holy Communion are multisensory faith experiences that involve the whole person in the story of faith.
Soup and Sandwich lunch served after early worship.
Potluck supper at 6:00 p.m. — Everyone welcome!!! (We’ll have plenty of food)
March 5, 2014
Key Verses: “[Jesus said,] ‘I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.’” John 10:14-15
Time: 27-30 CE
Background: Many throughout the gospel of John heard Jesus’ voice and recognized him as master, teacher, lord, or savior. Like a parent who calls a child, Jesus’ voice is unmistakable to those who follow.
Jesus again used “I am” to point to his divinity, reminding hearers of God’s response to Moses at the time of the Exodus. Such a reference also called to mind the nature of God as deliverer. Where once God freed the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, here God would free people from sin and death through the death and resurrection of his son.
Jesus said there were other sheep that did not belong to the fold, but would be brought along into one flock. He may have been referring to the Gentiles who, in John’s gospel, were marked for salvation as well as the Jews. This would have been quite a radical shift in thinking, as the Jews believed themselves to be God’s chosen people.
Jesus said he would lay down his life for his flock. Unlike a hired hand, who flees when danger approaches, the shepherd who claims ownership over the sheep will go to great lengths to protect them. On Ash Wednesday, this is a stark reminder of the sacrifice he is willing to make for us, his children.
Community: As Christians live into an increasingly diverse cultural and religious world, how can we engage in respectful conversations with people of differing faiths? What might we say about the good shepherd to people who believe differently?
At Home: Where do you hear the shepherd’s voice calling to you? What does the shepherd’s voice sound like? What does it say? How do you respond?