Archives For Religion and Spirituality

Victory in Surrender

February 24, 2012

I’m not really big on giving things up for Lent. I understand the practice, and can even see value in it, it’s just never really been for me. This week we start, as we start our journey to Easter, we start a new series about giving up. Read on for the front page of this week’s announcements as you prepare for the sermon this weekend.

There are times when wars end in a stalemate, where both sides just decide to stop fighting, but more often they end when one side surrenders. Generally speaking, you don’t want to be on the side that surrenders, because surrendering means defeat. It means the victor gets to impose their will on yours. But in God’s upside-down view of things, surrendering is actually the path to victory.

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Romans 7:22-23

There is a war waging inside us. It’s a war between our own sinful nature and the Spirit of God. The Spirit is calling for our complete surrender. No terms. No demands. But total surrender. And in return, the Spirit offers freedom. It is only through surrendering to God that we can win the war raging in our body. Paradoxically, surrender leads to victory.

This week we start a new series about surrendering, about Giving Up those things in our lives that keep us from God. Check inside for a complete list of what we’re called to give up. This Lent, we walk with Jesus towards Golgotha, the hill on which He would surrender His very life to win our freedom. This Lent, we give up more than chocolate, TV or some other bad habit. This Lent, we heed the Spirit’s call to wave the white flag. This Lent, we surrender and experience true freedom in the process.

Lenten Worship Backgrounds

February 22, 2012

2015 Update: Check out the expanded version of these slides.

Last year, we used a pretty basic Lenten Worship background. We used purple for most of the season with a pine needles texture to give it some depth. Good Friday was all black except for the same cross emblem we were using. Easter was a completely different design.

I wanted a more cohesive set this year that flowed from Ash Wednesday through Easter. I used this tutorial as the basis for the set we’re using. In addition to the backgrounds, we have matching posters inviting people to worship, plus a series of graphics that will appear on our website for the various special worship times during the season.

Here’s the complete set for use in your church if you’d like. The colors are fairly dark because the projector lightens them up a bit when they’re on the wall. It also improves the readability onscreen for the text of the service.

Lent (Wednesday Services)

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Easter