Love Beyond Measure

One of the advantages working for a large church is collaboration. We can pull our minds together to create resources, sermon series, and devotionals. Below, we have a sermon series for Sundays and Wednesdays in lent. We will have other fun things coming out soon: an online devotional and kid’s “Take a Bake” midweek lenten kitchen ba. I will add things as I have them.

Devotional based on Loved Beyond Measure. Thank you to Whitney Stofflet, Bethlehem’s Designer, and written by Pastor Holly Johnson and Pastor Kris Tostengard Michel. All ages can participate in this devotional.

Love Beyond Measure: A Sermon Series for Lent (written by Pastor Meta Herrick Carlson)

Matthew’s gospel is filled with teachings, stories, and conversations about the kingdom of heaven. These are glimpses of a different kind of love, sacred devotion that does not keep score or make sense to the powers of this world. This Lent, we remember the surprising and subversive power of love beyond measure. 

Ash Wednesday, February 22 – Matthew 18:1-6

Who is the greatest? Not kings or wealthy landowners or high priests. The kingdom of heaven delights in the curiosity, vulnerability, and innocence of children. Be like them.

Sunday, February 26 – Matthew 18:21-35

The unforgiving servant shows no mercy, even after having his own debts forgiven. While the world tells us to get ahead anyway we can, the kingdom of heaven extends mercy at every opportunity. We are heirs of a God who delights in jubilee. What does that mean for our stewardship and relationships?

Sunday, March 5 – Matthew 19:16-30

The rich man is hoping for a pat on the back when he asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. His scorecard already looks great! And so Jesus asks him to do the thing he cannot bring himself to do – sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. It cannot be earned. Salvation is a free gift, so the man’s resume and his inability to complete this ask do not have any bearing on his beloved ness.

Sunday, March 12 – Matthew 20:1-16

The laborers in the vineyard are all hired at different times, but paid the same amount – a generous wage for a day’s work. But comparison is the thief of joy and those who worked longer want to argue about what’s fair. God’s generosity, it seems, it not fair. 

Sunday, March 19 – Matthew 20:17-28

Jesus foretells his death a third time and still, no one wants to talk about it. Why does he keep bringing it up? Awkward. Meanwhile, a mother of two disciples wants to ensure her sons will have a place of honor in heaven. She wants reassurance that they will be rewarded and honored.

Sunday, March 26 – Matthew 23:37-24:2 

Jesus laments for Jerusalem and foretells the destruction of the temple. He laments with love, using the image of a mother hen trying to protect her chicks. We seek our protection and life from the temples and icons we build for ourselves, but all of these things pass away. 

Palm Sunday, April 2 – Matthew 21:1-17

Palm Sunday. Triumphant entry into Jerusalem and cleanses the temple. If they missed the parade, the outburst in the temple assures everyone knows he’s there.

Wednesday Nights: (provided by Pastor Kris Tostengard Michel)

Wednesday, March 1
Text: Matthew 8:1-4 
Healing the Leper
Theme: How much distance should we keep from one another these days? 
March 8 
Text: Matthew 9:9-13 
The Call of Matthew
Theme: Who is good enough? How do we widen the circle of community
March 15 
Text: Matthew 9:18-26
A Girl Restored to life and a Woman Healed  
Theme: How much faith is enough?
March 22 
Text: Matthew 14:13-21 
Jesus feeds the 5000
Theme: Jesus provides food.Who counts? 
March 29 
Text: Matthew 14:22-36 
Jesus prays, walks on water, heals many
Theme: How can I keep going? Finding strength in prayer. Blessing of the hands.

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