Throughout the Gospels, we find stories of people who experienced life changing encounters with Jesus. In those moments, they had a choice—reject the change and keep moving in the same direction or chart a new path and embrace the Holy Shift.
This Lent and Easter, join us for a series exploring what happens when we have our own encounters with Jesus and allow them to transform our hearts and our lives.
This worship series begins Sunday, February 26th.
Scripture: Luke 18:35-43
According to the Gospel of Luke, a blind man was begging on the side of the road when Jesus and a crowd of people passed by. Upon hearing the man cry out for mercy, Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him. There, in the middle of that road outside of Jericho, Jesus asked the man a question that would change everything. That same question holds the key for the holy shifts we are looking for in our lives as well.
Scripture: Mark 5
In Mark chapter 5, we find three stories of life-changing encounters with Jesus. The common thread: all were dealing with tremendous suffering. Suffering that caused them to be outcast, overlooked, and brushed aside by their own communities. But in coming to Jesus, they experience a shift. Their suffering is replaced with peace. They are restored, publicly, and demonstrate that even those cast aside by their communities are not cast aside by Jesus.
Scripture: John 4:4-42
Whether the source is internal or external, feelings of shame can be among the most difficult of human emotions. Through an encounter with Jesus, a woman who has likely experienced some level of shame finds dignity and worth through a dramatic holy shift. The good news is that through the grace of Christ, we too can find healing from shame, regardless of its source.
Scripture: Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75; John 21:15-19
Despite being among the most faithful of disciples, Peter denies his relationship with Jesus not once, but three times. While many would think those actions are unforgivable, Jesus restores Peter in one of the most moving stories found in scripture. The holy shift that took place in that moments speaks to the power of restorative justice that can, and should be, available to all of God’s children.
Scripture: John 8:1-11
After catching a woman in the act of adultery, some religious leaders brought her to Jesus and asked him if she should be stoned to death, as the law required. Jesus’ response shocked everyone and led to a dramatic life shift not only for her, but for all those who were present.
Scripture: John 11:17-44
In one of his most miraculous acts, Jesus raises his friend Lazarus back to life after four days. He does so by calling Lazarus to come out of his tomb. When Lazarus finally emerges, Jesus commands the people present to work together and unbind Lazarus’ grave clothes. Lazarus’ life is forever changed by this event, but he’s not the only one present who experiences a holy shift.
Scripture: Luke 23:32-43
In terms of life changing, even world changing events, there is no greater example of a holy shift than what takes place on Easter Sunday. After all, it is this story that shifts the inevitability of death to a promise of eternal life. That said, to truly grasp the power Easter Sunday, we need to shift our attention from the empty tomb of Jesus to another burial that took place nearby.
Scripture: Luke 24:13-32
We did it! We made the Holy Shift, and we’re now living a transformed life. Let’s be honest, despite our Holy Shift moment, it’s not easy to stay on that path. After witnessing the life of Jesus, Cleopas and his friend were on the road back to the way they had always lived. They were sad and confused that the Jesus that was right in front of them was gone, and they didn’t know how to continue the new life they had entered. We will close our series by shifting our focus to how we might maintain our new journey.