Have you ever wondered if your faith is still relevant in the world today? Have you ever questioned whether the stories of ancient scripture, which are thousands of years old, really have anything of value to guide your life today? Have you ever wondered about heaven, and hell, and your fate in this life and the next?
This Lenten season I am encouraging the congregation to join me in a 6- week book study as we read and discuss Pastor Rob Bell’s book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. This book dives into some of the big questions about our faith, and challenges us to understand God through a lens of unconditional love.
Rob Bell is the author of ten books, including four New York Times bestsellers. He is the creator of NOOMA, a series of short-video messages that encourage us into a deeper devotion as followers of Jesus Christ. He has also been profiled in the New Yorker, toured with Oprah, and in 2011 Time Magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Rob Bell writes that he wrote the book Love Wins, “because the kind of faith Jesus invites us into doesn’t skirt the big questions about topics like God and Jesus and salvation and judgement and heaven and hell, but takes us deep into the heart of them.” He goes on to state: “A staggering number of people have been taught that a select few Christians will spend forever in a peaceful, joyous place called heaven, while the rest of humanity spend forever in torment and punishment in hell with no chance for anything better. It’s been clearly communicated to many that this belief is a central truth of the Christian faith and to reject it is, in essence, to reject Jesus. This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus’s message of love, peace, forgiveness, and joy that our world desperately needs to hear.”
This Lenten season, I encourage you to join me as we journey toward a deeper, more freeing understanding of Jesus and God, and heaven and hell, as we discover anew God’s unconditional love for each and every one of us. Book study groups will be offered on Sunday mornings at 8:15 AM and 11:00 AM, Monday mornings at 9:30 AM, Monday evenings at 7:30 PM, and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM. Please indicate which groups you would be interested in and available for by e-mailing Bess in the church office: [email protected]
Scripture compels us all to keep learning and growing in our understanding of who God is. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “While it is good that we seek to know the Holy One, it is probably not so good to presume we ever complete the task.” Come and join us this Lent as we get to know more about who God is and how much God loves each and every one of us.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” -1 Peter 3:18
Peace, Love and God Bless,