Giving It Up: Lent 2019


Lent is the period in the calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends 46 days later before Easter Sunday. Historically it was an opportunity for Christians to grow closer to God and focus on prayer and penance before the great feast of Easter. Today Lent for many people is the time of year to bring a bit of discipline to life by giving up chocolate or sugar, coffee or cakes etc. For others the challenge isn't to 'give up', but to 'give' - setting aside more time intentionally for God or others. I wonder how Lent 2019 will be for you?

During Lent at Holy Trinity we take the idea of 'giving up' one step further and focus each week on areas where God calls us to give things up - not just for the 40 or so days of Lent - but forever. God calls us to lives that are fruitful, fulfilling and an ongoing adventure with him, and in order to take hold of all he has for us, we sometimes have to let go of the things that hinder.

On Sunday mornings in our services, we are introducing the weekly theme, and offering ideas of how to respond. Our Sunday evening services are a more informal creative space with opportunities to discuss and pray. There are also study materials, sermon notes and other resources for our homegroups to mull over as appropriate below. If you are not currently in a small group - why not try one out for Lent


Sunday 10th March: Giving Up Control

Genesis 2.15-17, Matthew 4.1-11 Adam and Eve disobeyed God, thinking that they knew better than him, with disastrous consequences. While being tempted in the wilderness, Jesus denied his own impulses and followed God's will. In the modern world, where we are used to having control over so many things, we often fail to seek God's will for our lives and try to call all the shots ourselves. God wants us to deny ourselves and give him the final say when we are charting out the course of our lives.


Sunday 17th March: Giving Up Expectations

Genesis 12:1-4a; John 3:1-17  Abraham followed God's call to leave his homeland and travel to the place God promised his descendants, even though he didn't know how it would all work out. When Nicodemus is talking to Jesus, he has a hard time understanding what God's grace is really about because he is used to thinking in terms of religious structures. But in the end, Abraham goes, but Nicodemus holds back. For us, the challenge is one of trust - when God calls us to action, what will we give up to say 'yes'?