The season of Lent marks the time in the church calendar where the church is called into a season of repentance. This penitential season is often marked by fasting and prayer as we prepare to remember the Passion of our Lord and celebrate His Easter victory over death. The focus of the church’s repentance, however, is not one of mere personal sacrifice or self-imposed discipline. The focus is on the saving work of God in Christ Jesus. Thus, the call to repent is incomplete if we emphasize our own sorrow and sin. Repentance, though certainly a call to turn from something, also means to be turned toward someone else, namely, the saving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The job of the preacher in Lent is to point repentant sinners away from their sins to Christ.

To this end, John T. Pless of Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN has prepared a midweek Lenten sermon series that will fix our eyes on the saving work of the triune God. These weekly meditations, based on Martin Luther’s hymn “Dear Christians One and All Rejoice” (Lutheran Service Book #556) will provide the preacher with an opportunity to proclaim the saving work of God to their hearers throughout the season of Lent. Luther’s “hymn of liberation”[1] will enable the congregation to both recognize the gravity of their sin and the trust the unfathomable, yet certain, grace of God in Jesus Christ.

In this packet you will find an outline of the series, recommended scriptural texts to go along with the stanzas, hymn suggestions, and notes about this masterful hymn.

It is our prayer that this series will help you boldly preach the full counsel of God this Lenten season.

-Bob Hiller
Content Editor
Craft of Preaching