As we enter this season, we remember that Lent is the forty-day season of preparation, awareness, self-reflection, and self-evaluation that leads us into Easter. These days are marked with a more somber tone – a time tinged with the painful acknowledgement of our own sinfulness and mortality. It is a time when Christians confront and confess our neediness and wantonness – and prepare ourselves to receive the glorious news of Jesus’ resurrection.
This year’s Lenten sermon series will be based entirely in the Beatitudes. As the powerful opening movement of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, these timeless words present us with a counter-intuitive understanding of faith (and life). During these reflective weeks, we will explore the true nature of blessedness and center our lives on Jesus’ teachings that echo through the ages.
In addition, we will use the Beatitudes (as Wesley pointed out) as a framework for a healthy (and radical) process of intentional discipleship. They demand a response: for what we will find is that these sacred words are more than mere poetry for the downcast soul, they are addressed to all of us who would dare to surrender our lives to the way of the cross – following Jesus to Golgotha...and beyond.