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Special Events

Lent & Holy Week

The season of Lent invites us to spend some intentional time reflecting on Jesus, His 40 days in the wilderness, and looking at our own spiritual lives. Lent can be a season to review, reevaluate and renew our commitments to Christ. 

 

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Lent Life Groups Study

Join us as we take a “second look” and go a little deeper with a few familiar stories of Jesus… and perhaps meet him again, for the first time. This year our hope is to once again, break bread together in Lent Groups. Let’s feast on God’s Word! Join us as we take a second look at the revolutionary Love of Christ.

Weekly Study:
Welcome to the Lenten Study! Over the next seven weeks we will break bread together to commemorate the journey Christ took to the cross on our behalf. We will take a “second look” and go a little deeper with a few familiar stories of Jesus… and get to know Him again, maybe for the first time.

Before We Begin
To get the most out of this study, it will be of vital importance to know the CONTEXT of these stories. Remember, this is first century Palestinian Judaism! Societal and cultural norms were very different than they are today. It is important for us to remember Jesus’ Jewishness - his native faith- and how His actions counter the wisdom that would have been common in his day. Some of the stories we will engage deal directly with the Mosaic Law- laws that were strictly followed by most Jews and were related to one’s holiness. Purification and cleansing rituals were of particular importance during this time, especially in regard to the body and who one could and could not associate with. For us today, it is in the knowing of these common practices, as best we can, that will help to highlight just how shocking and subversive Jesus’ actions were - actions that were intended to reveal the Heart of God. He was flipping the script (and tables!) on what was normal and acceptable behavior. This “disruption” paved the way for a revolution of love.
Enter the fullness of GRACE and TRUTH…
        For Jews.
            For Gentiles.
                For… all.

QUESTIONS: Week 1, March 10
Jesus and The Bleeding Woman

Read out loud: Mark 5:21-34
Have someone else read out loud: Luke 8:40–48
   - What similarities do you notice? Differences?
   - Thinking about all that she had “endured,” how do you think the woman felt in the crowd?
   - Jesus knew, and yet why do you think He responded, “Who touched me?”
   - Do we hide from God at times? From others? Why? What other Biblical stories come to mind?
   - Jesus says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Why was this powerful for the woman?

   - What do you think this story says about the character of Jesus? About how we should be toward Him? Toward others?

First Century! Did You Know…
Often, women did not have periods. In child bearing years most were pregnant or breastfeeding. When they did, however, they were deemed “unclean” for the duration. Anyone who touched her, or anything she sat or lied on, would be unclean. (See Leviticus 15:19–33)

QUESTIONS: Week 2, March 17
Jesus Turns Water Into Wine

Read out loud: John 2:1–11
Have another person read the passage again.
   -  What stands out to you? What seems strange? What questions do you have?
   - Do you think Jesus needed the prompting of his mother to start his “time”? Why do you think it is included?
   - The phrase the “hour has not yet come” also occurs in John 7:30 and John 8:20. Additionally, Jesus says “the hour has come” in John 12:23–27 as He begins the journey towards the cross. Clearly, the “hour” referred to the ultimate sacrifice and shedding of his blood for the salvation of the world.
   - The water that Jesus turned into wine was for ritual cleansing. (See Lev. 15:31) How does this metaphor play out when we look toward the cross? (Hint: Wine can represent something else…)
 - Jesus’ first miracle was at a party! Why is this significant? What do you think this says about who God is?

First Century! Did You Know…
Jewish marriage receptions typically lasted seven days. Weddings were often on a Tuesday because in the Genesis narrative there was a “double blessing” on the third day of the week. (See Genesis 1:9–13)

QUESTIONS: Week 3, March 24
Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Read out loud: Matthew 21:12–17
Read out loud: John 2:13–17
   -  What strikes you about this scene?
   -  How does this image of Jesus compare to your current image of Jesus? Author Phillip Yancey describes his childhood image of Jesus as being “far too tame.” Do you or do you not relate to this idea? How so? Explain.
   -  God desires purity in the heart of His worshippers. The temple had become a place of worldly profit at the cost and exploitation of those there to pray. Why was this so upsetting to Him? Explain the difference between uncontrolled rage and righteous indignation. What about in cases of injustice?
   -  Christ has the same zeal for our heart to be cleaned out. What would He find in the “outer courts” of your soul?

First Century! Did You Know…
At least once a year Jews in rural areas would make the journey to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the temple. Bringing along animals on this pilgrimage would prove to be difficult. Thus, the reason for the market place in the Temple courts. These vendors, however, were taking advantage of these poor worshippers. It is estimated that 90% of them lived at the subsistence level or lower! Think about that…

QUESTIONS: Week 4, March 31
Jesus Walks on Water
Read out loud: Matthew 14:22–33 (Imagine yourself in the scene...)
Read out loud: Mark 6:45–52
   -  Thinking about the disciples’ hearts, why do you think Jesus chose to walk on water? (To show and to bring near His divinity perhaps?)
   -   After walking toward Jesus, what made Peter begin to sink?
   -  What is the storm or “wind” in your own life that tempts you to move your eyes off of Jesus? Do the world’s ways effect your trust in God? How so?
   -  In the story, Peter cries out for help and then, “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” How do you think Peter felt in that moment? How would you feel?
   -  Some say that the opposite of faith is not doubt; it is fear. What do you think this means? How does this play out in your
own life?

First Century! Did You Know…
Most people couldn’t swim, and it was common to have a fear of water. The Hebrew Scriptures refer to the sea as an abyss and used it as a symbol for chaos and hell. The Sea of Galilee’s particular location made it subject to sudden and violent storms. Storms often developed when an east wind dropped cool air over the warm air rising from the sea. These sudden and unpredictable storms added another layer of fear in the chaos.

QUESTIONS: Week 5, April 7
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Read out loud: John 4:1–42
Read it again. Take your time.

   -  What grabs your attention?
   -  This is the longest recorded dialogue that Jesus has with anyone in Scripture. What does this communicate about Jesus?
   -  Jesus reveals his identity to this woman. “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.” Why do you think He chose to do this?
   -  The woman runs off to tell people, leaving her jar. What might the water jar represent for her? How about for us, today?
   -  Through this powerful conversation, she is compelled to tell everyone what has happened to her. She becomes the first evangelist. Why would Jesus do this through her? A Samaritan, a woman, with a questionable reputation?
   -  Jesus shifts the focus from the exclusive holiness of God, to the inclusive mercy of God. Explain this concept. How might this look for us today? Be specific.

First Century! Did You Know…
In every synagogue service Jewish men would pray, “Blessed art thou, O Lord, who hast not made me a woman.” Women sat in separate sections, were usually not taught Torah, and not counted in quorums. Women were not permitted to touch
any man other than her husband, and rarely
spoke to men outside her family.

QUESTIONS: Week 6, April 14
Jesus Raises Lazarus

Read out loud John: 11:17–36
Have another person read it again.
   -  What strikes you about this narrative? Who do you relate to? Why?
   -  Why do you think Jesus delayed His visit to Lazarus?
   -  Knowing He had the power to raise Lazarus, why would Jesus weep? What does this model for us regarding our ideas about “masculinity”?
   -  What might this story tell us about God? About grief? About death?
   -  This miracle is what sealed the deal for the Pharisees’ determination to have Jesus killed. (See verse 53) Why do you think this act was the final provocation for them? What was at stake?

First Century! Did You Know…
For Palestinian Jews, the dead were almost always buried the same day they died. The deceased was washed (with various spices and perfumes), wrapped in strips of cloth, and hands and feet were bound. The body was then carried by male relatives and friends in a procession from the family home to the family tomb. Mourning typically would last seven days, after which life would mostly return to normal. However, mourning for a parent lasted a year.


 

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Lenten Devotional
Free devotional written by our congregation, pastors, and staff reflecting on the Lenten journey. Have it emailed to you weekly by subscribing here or texting “Devo” to 818-804-5090.

March 6: Ash Wednesday Services

7:30 a.m. > Evans Chapel and 7:30 p.m. > Sanctuary >> Come and worship. Begin this season of 40 days in a quiet and reflective way, considering the journey Jesus embarked on for us. Both services include meditation, readings, silence for personal reflection, the Lord’s supper, and the imposition of ashes for those who wish to receive them.

March 7–April 11: Lenten Lectio Divina
10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. > Thursdays during Lent > Fireside Room >> From Latin, Lectio Divina means 'divine reading.' An ancient art, lectio divina is a slow and contemplative way of praying the Scriptures that enables God's Word to come alive in new ways, inviting you into a deeper experience of knowing the Scriptures.

Holy Week 

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While Holy Week is solemn and sorrowful, join us this week as we anticipate the joy of Easter through the recognition of God’s goodness in sending His Son to die for our salvation.

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Holy Week Hospitality

Come alongside the Hospitality Team this Easter Week in serving with your warm smile and friendly presence! Help our many guests and church family members have a meaningful Holy Week experience.
4/14 > Palm Sunday >10 a.m. Service > Greeters, parking lot
4/17–4/19 > Stations of the Cross > Set up and tear down
4/18 > Maundy Thursday > 7:30 p.m. Dinner > Greeters, kitchen preparation, food servers, table facilitators
4/19 > Good Friday > 7:30 p.m. service > Greeters
4/21 > Easter Sunday > 6 a.m. (Sunrise), 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. Services > Serve one, attend one! > Greeters, parking lot, shuttle riders, kids' programming
Sign-up at belairpres.org/signups or email serve@belairpres.org for more information and to sign up!

 

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April 14: Palm Sunday Service

10 a.m. One United Worship Service > Sanctuary >> Celebrate the beginning of Holy Week with this special Palm Sunday service with celebratory music. The single service will be immediately followed by our All-Church Grow: Prayer Encirclement of the Campus! We need everyone to be there to pray over our campus for Holy Week AND pray for our city and the work we can join God in.

(6 p.m. Service still happening)


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April 18:
Maundy Thursday

7:30 p.m. > Discipleship Center >> A reflective night including a full meal with worship, Communion, prayer, and Scripture taking us on the journey from the Garden to the Cross. Don't miss it!


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April 19: Stations of the Cross

8 a.m.–5 p.m. > Sanctuary >> Come journey to the cross as you see pictures, read Scripture, and contemplate Christ’s passion.

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April 19: Good Friday Service

7:30 p.m. > Sanctuary >> Join us for a reflective night of worship including prayer and Scripture reading, that will remind us of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us as He was nailed to the cross and laid to rest in the tomb. This will help us experience the depths of these moments so we can truly prepare for the joy of the Resurrection on Easter morning.

 

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April 21: Easter Worship Services

8 a.m., 10 a.m., and 12 p.m. > Sanctuary & 6 a.m. (sunrise service) > Patio >> Join us for Easter at Bel Air. Three identical services to celebrate the Resurrection. Choir, band, and instrumental ensemble will lead worship and Pastor Drew will give an inspiring message. This is a great opportunity to invite your friends! Kids' programming for ages 3 months–Kindergarten.