Grow Deep: I AM Edition
Grow Deep—“I AM” Lenten Edition
"But what about you? ...Who do you say I AM?” - Matthew 16:15
This edition of Grow Deep coincides with the season of Lent and is tied to our midweek sermon series based on the “I AM” statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. St. John’s Gospel is arranged around seven signs (miracles) and seven statements of Jesus (I AM sayings) that have us wrestle with the ultimate question, “Who is Jesus?” Over the next seven weeks, we will explore six of the seven I AM statements in the Gospel of John and a seventh I AM statement found in the Book of Revelation.
Lent is often a time when Christians are intentional about focusing on spiritual disciplines that draw them closer to God. It is not uncommon for Christians to “fast” during this season by giving up some food or habit or by putting a new behavior or habit into their lives. This Lenten season you will be invited to expand your experience with the spiritual discipline of memorizing Scripture. God tells us in His Word that, “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night.” (Joshua 1:8) And how do we do that? One way is to memorize Scripture! Each week of this series begins on Wednesday with one of the "I AM" sentence stories of Jesus. The following day provides a Psalm that includes a suggested memory verse. Over the course of this series, the memory verses will help us focus on Christ.
During the first three weeks of the series, we have readings from the early days of Jesus' Passion and from the prophets who gave witness to the coming of the Christ. In the last four weeks, we follow the last hours of Jesus' life very closely.
As we read and reflect on Scripture, this journey into the "I AM" statements of Jesus invites us to reflect upon that ultimate question Jesus asks us all, “Who do you say that I am?" Even the disciples, who confessed that Jesus was the Christ, wrestled with their own doubt, disappointment, incomplete knowledge, false expectations, criticism and personal weakness. We do as well.
Lent provides us with an annual “spring cleaning” that offers the ultimate renewal and confidence to see Jesus. It gives us an opportunity to do some soul searching and some testing and refining of our faith. It is a time to read, reflect and listen to Jesus fill our hearts with the healing words of His mercy, the compelling voice of His authority and the witness of His sacrificial love for us.
In addition to the reflection questions provided for youth and adult readers, there are also reflection questions provided for families with school-aged children based on the daily reading. You are encouraged to use these questions as a resource for your family to discuss the Passion of Jesus in age-appropriate ways during this Lenten season.
Grow Deep with Jesus!
The Adult Ministry Team
Thank you to the following who shared their insights through their written devotions, reflection questions and/or For the Family reflections:
I AM the Light - Mike Vincent; I AM the Door - Mary Beth Sullivan/For the Family, Megan Boyll; I AM the Way - Pastor Wayne Knolhoff; I AM the Vine - Chuck Dreessen/For the Family, Jean Dreessen; I AM the Good Shepherd - Edie Grieshaber/For the Family, Sue Heisner; I AM the Bread of Life - Sandi Geis/For the Family, Sharon Pahde; I AM the Alpha and the Omega - Pastor Bill Geis.