• Pastor Don Gray

Singing with the Exiles

Greetings Faithful Disciples of Jesus,


I pray you are all doing well and that you are ready to give Jesus just a little extra time during Lent by attending our mid-week services. As you know, we will have a meal each Wednesday from 5:15pm – 6:00pm and then our service will begin at 6:15pm. Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day this year and I certainly hope this will not keep you away. When you think about it symbolically, is there a better place to be with your loved one than with Jesus on Valentine’s Day/Ash Wednesday? So I pray you will come and celebrate with us these very two special days of the year. We will do our best to lift up Valentine’s Day in our decorating the gathering area for that evening.


Now let me share about the sermon series during our midweek services. My overarching theme is “Singing With The Exiles.” Gathered by the waters of Babylon, Judean exiles wistfully wondered: Is God for real? If so, does He really care about us? What does our future hold? Will this ever change? God’s people had watched their world shatter into a million pieces. They were demoralized and disillusioned. Their disaster looked terminal.

Do you ever feel this way? Do you ever have challenges that are just weighing you down? Do you find yourself asking: Why did this happen? Why did God allow it? Is there any order in the world? Will God really deliver on what He said?


Isaiah answers these questions in chapters 40–55 of his book. He announces that just when Israel’s history seemed closed and controlled by hopeless Babylonian imperial policy, to the shock and surprise of everyone the Lord will stir up a king named Cyrus and a new exodus will explode in the desert! A Servant will be wounded for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. And barren Zion will be given so many children that, like the old woman in the shoe, she won’t know what to do! Standing behind these marvelous promises is God’s almighty Word. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). The exiles are going home!


That’s why we are “Singing with the Exiles” as they are restored to their home.

This Lent, Isaiah 40–55 will shape us as we . . .

Listen to the following mid-week sermons:

2-14 Ash Wednesday: “God Has a Word for That” (Isaiah 41:14–16)

2-21 Lent 1: “He Only Has Eyes for You” (Isaiah 43:1–7)

2-28 Lent 2: “Marked” (Isaiah 44:1–5)

3-7 Lent 3: “Breaking Down the Gates” (Isaiah 45:1–8)

3-14 Lent 4: “Get Out!” (Isaiah 48:17–22)

3-21 Lent 5: “One Little Word Can Fell Him” (Isaiah 49:1–6)

3-29 Holy Thursday: “He Prepares a Table” (Isaiah 49:7–13)

3-30 Good Friday: “All” (Isaiah 52:13–53:12)

4-1 Easter Sunday: “We Are Going Home” (Isaiah 55:6–13)


Plan now to bring a friend as we break bread together and sing with the exiles as we learn from Isaiah to walk the Lenten way to the cross and to the empty tomb. God promises to turn our weeping into joy and our present pain into an endless Alleluia!


I look forward to seeing you each Wednesday as we journey through this powerful season of Lent together.


Blessings+

Pastor Don



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