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Lent: Monday March 15, 2021

Song: “Thy Word Is a Lamp unto My Feet”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Exodus 15:22-27, Hebrews 3:1-6, Psalm 107:1-16

Lectionary Scripture: Hebrews 3:1-6

 Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,  was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all God’s house.”   Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.  (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.)   Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later.   Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

Prayer of the Day
O Lord, you have given us your word for a light to shine upon our path; grant me so to meditate on that word, and to follow its teaching, that I may find in it the light that shines more and more until the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Sunday March 14, 2021

Sermon: The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit


Sermon Scripture: Matthew 12:26-28
Jesus said to them, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? If I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.


Song: “Amazing Grace”

Lectionary Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-10
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 3:14-21

Prayer of the Day
O God, rich in mercy, by the humiliation of your Son you lifted up this fallen world and rescued us from the hopelessness of death. Lead us into your light, that all our deeds may reflect your love, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Celebrating God’s Name
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Saturday March 13, 2021

Song: “Hear My Cry”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Numbers 20:22-29, John 3:1-13, Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Lectionary Scripture: John 3:1-13

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”  Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?  No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, we beseech You to hear our prayers for all who sin against You, or neglect to serve You, all who forget You, all who leave You out of their lives. O Lord, have mercy upon them; bestow upon us all true repentance and an earnest longing for Yourself. Promise, we ask You, O Lord, to lift up the light of Your Face upon them, giving them continually heavenly desires. Amen.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Friday March 12, 2021

Song: “He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Daniel 12:5-13, Ephesians 1:7-14, Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Lectionary Scripture: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,  those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

Prayer of the Day
Jesus, you prayed and fasted. As your disciple teach me about spiritual discipline in my relationship with you. Amen

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Thursday March 11, 2021

Song: “This Little Light of Mine”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Genesis 9:8-17, Ephesians 1:3-6, Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Lectionary Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-6

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Prayer of the Day
Almighty God, you have poured on me the new light of your incarnate Word; Grant that this light, enkindled in my heart, may shine forth in my life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit one God, now and forever. Amen.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Lenten Guide 2021

Most people associate Lent with people fasting and “giving up” something like meat, chocolate, social media, etc. But what is Lent? How did it get started?

You’re going to have a hard time finding Lent in your Bible. It’s not there. When the last New Testament books and letters were written, Lent had not yet been developed. The season of Lent emerged as a faithful response to God in a time where Christianity flourished for the wrong reasons.

The widespread emergence of Lent occurred in the 300s CE as Christianity struggled with the effects of its growing power and influence in the Roman Empire. Starting in 312 CE, Christianity began receiving special treatment in Rome through Emperor Constantine. By 380 CE, Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the state religion.

With its new place of imperial favor, Christianity was no longer just a path of fidelity in the face of potential persecution, it had become a path towards privilege, power, and money. Politicians and wealthy businessmen now had political reasons for converting to Christianity. Christianity’s numbers grew as it became harder to distinguish people’s motivations for being Christian.

The Roman Empire became filled with nice Christians, but less holy ones. Many Christians responded by fleeing to the wilderness to live as monks and nuns. Monks like Saint Anthony of Egypt, who left the city life behind for a life of prayer and poverty, became flooded with Christian travelers journeying to learn about a different path of holiness.

In this time, the season of Lent emerged as a 40-day season of fasting, penitence, reflection, and preparation before the celebrations of Easter Sunday. The joys of Easter Sunday are easy and popular, but who was willing to wrestle with the difficulties and temptations that prepare for Good Friday?

Some people consider Lent dour because they dislike the idea of giving up one of their favorite treats, but Lent was developed to intermix the seriousness of simple devotion alongside the joy of Easter. Before it was called Lent, the season was simply called tessarakoste (“fourtieth”), which might remind you of Pentecost (“fiftieth”). If, however, you count the days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) it doesn’t add up to forty days. Sundays in the season didn’t count since they were seen as weekly celebrations of Christ’s resurrection and the Christian hope. The juxtaposition of Lenten simplistic devotion with joyful Sundays of Christian hope provides a spiritual depth that prepares the way for Easter celebration.

Christians for hundreds of years have longed to follow Jesus more faithfully and not settle for popular, cultural Christianity. This Lenten season, our sermon series, “In God’s Name,” examines the ways we describe God and God’s actions in the world. By Good Friday, Jesus will be charged with blasphemy for announcing and living out God’s liberation for the world. As we faithfully follow God, we should not be surprised that others, particularly other Christians, might consider our devotion to be blasphemy too. Early Christians committed to a Holy God and you can too.

Each day, you’re invited to pray, to sing, to read scripture, and to reflect. Throughout the guide, you’ll see imagery that invites you to contemplate how you see God. What artwork, what music, what scripture might invite you to see God afresh? We invite you to explore with us. Our prayer is that this guide might be a launching pad for your Lenten journey. As you encounter a Bible verse, a song, a prayer, and go to explore it more, may you find God there. If you go to our website, fbcjxn.org/devotions, each day there will be a new post that includes the scripture of the day, prayers, and links to videos that include the song of the day.

As you learn more about who God is, you learn more about who God calls you to be. If you hear Christ calling you towards more, we hope you’ll join us in this Lenten season. Let us journey together in Lent towards Easter.


Download our 2021 Lent Prayer Guide online. You can also interact with each daily prayer on our devotions webpage.

Lent: Wednesday March 10, 2021

Song: “I Love You, Lord”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
Ezra 6:1-16, Mark 11:15-19, Psalm 84

Lectionary Scripture: Mark 11:15-19

Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

Prayer of the Day
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore thee, a heart to delight in thee, to follow and to enjoy thee, for Christ’s sake.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Tuesday March 9, 2021

Song: “Draw Me Close to You”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
2 Chronicles 29:1-11, 16-19, Hebrews 9:23-28, Psalm 84

Lectionary Scripture: 2 Chronicles 29:1-11

They also shut the doors of the vestibule and put out the lamps, and have not offered incense or made burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the Lord came upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he has made them an object of horror, of astonishment, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. Our fathers have fallen by the sword and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.  Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, so that his fierce anger may turn away from us.  My sons, do not now be negligent, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence to minister to him, and to be his ministers and make offerings to him.”

Prayer of the Day
Lord, be with us this day, Within us to purify us; Above us to draw us up; Beneath us to sustain us; Before us to lead us; Behind us to restrain us; Around us to protect us.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Monday March 8, 2021

Song: “Here I Am to Worship”

Lectionary Readings: (Read online)
1 Kings 6:1-4, 21-22, 1 Corinthians 3:10-23, Psalm 84

Lectionary Scripture: Psalm 84

Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion. O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, Jesus Christ, fill me, I pray, with your light and life.


Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.

Lent: Sunday March 7, 2021

Sermon: The Blasphemy of Denying Forgiveness


Sermon Scripture: Matthew 9:6-7
And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”


Song: “Be Thou My Vision”

Lectionary Scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Lectionary readings: (Read online)
Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19; I Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22

Prayer of the Day
Holy God, through your Son you have called us to live faithfully and act courageously. Keep us steadfast in your covenant of grace, and teach us the wisdom that comes only through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Celebrating God’s Name: 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
We proclaim Christ crucified, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Would you like to download our entire 2021 Lenten Prayer Guide? Download it here.