LEAP OF FAITH: WHAT IS IT?
Lent is the season between Ash Wednesday to Easter (Feb. 17-April 4). It’s traditionally a time to prepare our hearts for the most significant celebration in the church calendar—Resurrection Sunday. Throughout the centuries, people have used this time to jump purposefully into all that God has for them. That’s why we call this exercise our Leap of Faith. We’re trying to take a Leap of Faith again this year. Together as a church family, we’re leaning into our spiritual lives in a special way.
THIS YEAR’S THEME: KNOWING JESUS AS HE KNEW HIMSELF
We’ve been paying a lot of attention to the call to follow Jesus. In order to do that, we’ll have to know him well, right? How did Jesus understand himself? What he was offering to us? How can we line up with that?
HOW WILL THIS WORK?
The Book of John is famous for its seven “I Am” statements which echo God’s self-introduction in Exodus. Study them each week in this order.
Week of Feb 21
I am who I am – Exodus 3
Week of Feb 28
I am the true vine – John 15
Week of March 7
I am the bread of life – John 6
Week of March 14
I am the light of the world – John 9
Week of March 21
I am the gate – John 10
Week of March 28
I am the Good Shepherd – John 10
Week of April 4 (Easter)
I am the resurrection and the life – John 11
Week of April 11
I am the way the truth and the life – John 14
TURNING THINGS AROUND
Each week we will not only reflect on what Jesus was saying about himself and about what he was offering, but also how we might be making lesser choices. God helps us turn to him. The Bible calls this repentance, changing your mind about something so significantly that your life starts to change with his help. We will repeatedly discourage self-reliance and repeatedly emphasize the full life offered us by relying on Jesus.
HOW TO TAKE THE LEAP OF FAITH
- Sometime in the first few days of Lent (Feb 17-Apr 4) decide that you are going to take the leap.
- Ask God to help you grow close to Jesus during Lent.
- Tell your small group what that you’re going to participate and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Some of our small groups are going to be following the sermon series outlined above closely. Some will continue with their current plan. But all of them will be glad to help encourage you as you join Christians throughout the world seek the Lord and his work in their lives. If you’re not in a small group currently, maybe your family or a group of your friends could do this together. It helps so much to work with others; tell them what your goals are, what’s going well and what’s a challenge. Videos designed to help you start a good discussion will be available on our website weekly. And please know, you are welcome in every group. You can find a list of them at blueroutevineyard.com/smallgroups
- ROOT YOURSELF IN THE LORD. Read the chapter of the week or related portions of the Bible. Focus on how God reveals himself in Exodus and in his Son, Jesus. Invite him into your day.
- PRAY FOR SOMETHING BIG. Pick an exciting opportunity or challenging area of your life that only God can address for you. Pray big! Pray with all your heart, as if God will answer your prayers.
- REVIEW YOUR DAY QUIETLY IN THE EVENING WITH THESE THOUGHTS: I’m quiet
Pray and listen, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
Review your day, looking for God’s gifts in each event or interaction. Thank him.
Review your positive and negative emotions and experiences. Rejoice in situations where you were faithful and aligned with Jesus. Ask for forgiveness and repent if you sinned. If necessary, plan to make amends.
Ask God to shine light on tomorrow’s path. Resolve to grow.
CONSIDER FASTING IN SOME WAY
During Lent, millions of Christians are fasting from something. Why not join in at some level? When people really wanted something from God in the Bible, they almost always fasted. The point of fasting is that, under God’s direction, we’re feeling desperate for something and we direct that desperation towards God. Note: fasting does NOT make you more holy and acceptable before God. That has been completely accomplished by Jesus on the cross.
HOW TO APPROACH FASTING
What are options for fasting? Fasting often involves not eating food in some way. Sometimes, that can be a total abstention, a “water fast.” We don’t recommend these at any length beyond a couple of days unless you have a good deal of experience fasting.
We don’t recommend water fasts if you’ve ever suffered from an eating disorder. People who have suffered from eating disorders often have a difficult time separating this sort of fasting from the very motivation that drove them to the disorder, and thereby risk serious health problems. See below for other ways you can participate.
Other fasts involve not eating a certain kind of food. This can involve giving up a beloved food: desserts, meat, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, “Daniel Fast” (you only eat vegetables), etc.
Are there any non-food-related options? Yes! Fasting from TV is a popular choice. You can also fast from digital games, shopping, social media —anything that feels costly to give up for a season. Try fasting from criticism or making sarcastic remarks!
LEAP OF FAITH SMALL GROUPS
Tell your small group what that you’re going to participate and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Some of our small groups are going to be following the sermon series outlined above closely. Some will continue with their current plan. But all of them will be glad to help encourage you as you join Christians throughout the world seek the Lord and his work in their lives. If you’re not in a small group currently, maybe your family or a group of your friends could do this together. It helps so much to work with others; tell them what your goals are, what’s going well and what’s a challenge. Videos designed to help you start a good discussion will be available on our website weekly. And please know, you are welcome in every group. You can find a list of them at blueroutevineyard.com/smallgroups
- Good Friday | April 2. Join us for a service with Media Presbyterian Church. Details to come.
- Easter | April 4
- One Day to Feed the World Offering | April 4. We will have an opportunity to respond as a church in giving a day’s wage to help the world’s poor through a ministry called Convoy of Hope. Find out more information at www.convoyofhope.org.