In this season of Lent, we prepare ourselves for new life in Christ by reflecting on what we have witnessed. Each week brings stories of encounters with God throughout all time—in the Garden, in the wilderness, in the middle of the night.
The lectionary narratives for this year are the most buoyant of the three-year cycle. They begin in the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve meet God in judgment, but also experience God seeking them after they succumb to temptation. The Gospel stories show us people encountering Jesus, many for the first time: Nicodemus, who comes in the middle of the night; the Samaritan woman, who runs into Jesus at the well; the blind man, minding his own business; and Lazarus, who is called out of his tomb. In these people's encounters with God, we ourselves encounter God.
Through spoken word and song and sharing, our services reach from the abject penitence of AshWednesday through the stories of these lives face to face with God. The fourth Sunday (March 30), traditionally known as "Laetare Sunday," is a temporary lift from introspection—we can sing alleluia only on that Sunday, as a foretaste of the alleluias to come on Resurrection Sunday. Our theme song, "I sought the Lord" (HWB 506), will appear in each service in some form.
There are Holy Week services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (both at CMC) and the night before Easter (in the Easter vigil at Park View Mennonite Church). Easter morning includes bread and fruit before the service, which starts at 10.