The Season of Lent – A Time to Reflect and Celebrate

What is Lent? In the Christian calendar, it is a period commencing from Ash Wednesday and culminating on Easter Sunday. This is the solemn season in which Christians reflect on the suffering and death of Christ. Many churches practice the imposition of ash on the forehead of the believers as a reminder that “we are dust and to dust we return”. Some churches don’t practice the imposition but they encourage the faithful to observe the lent through meditation, prayers and bible reading. Palm Sunday is the Lord’s Day immediately before the Easter Sunday. It is the celebration of Christ’s triumphal entry to Jerusalem and the beginning of the holy week. This event is described in all four books of the Gospel, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Maundy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper in which Jesus had the last meal with His disciples following the washing of their feet. It was also at this time when Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus’ disciples, betrayed Him in exchange of thirty pieces of silver coins. Good Friday marks the crucifixion and death of Christ. Easter Sunday is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead – victory over death and sin. It is a signal for a new beginning.

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day…” Luke 24 vs. 26

Why was it necessary for Jesus to suffer and die? The fact of the matter is that we are sinners. It doesn’t matter how big or small our sin is. Sin is a sin. It harms us in many ways. It destroys our worth. It corrupts us even more. It harms our relationship with God who created us in His image. It offends our holy God. Because of our sins we are separated from God. Nothing, by our own power and ability, can restore that broken relationship with God. There is no amount of human kindness or goodness that can remove our guilt. And for one, we really didn’t care about being separated from God. That is how calloused we have become as a result of our sins. 

Image courtesy of CrossWalk

But our God is a loving God who does not want us to remain in this hopeless condition. He took the initiative to save us. While it is humanly impossible to be saved from sin and the penalty of it, God provided the only way, Jesus Christ. 
Jesus died on the cross fulfilling the righteous requirements of the Law to remove our sins, to appease God’s holy indignation, to satisfy God’s just requirements to release us from condemnation. It is the moment in which Jesus opened for us the way to God’s holy throne through his atoning death by willingly giving up his life and shedding His blood for us – a sufficient sacrifice once and for all. He declared on the cross “It is finished!”, meaning, the transaction to release us from the captivity from sin is done with. Who can match that show of love? Regardless of the gravity of our sins, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” John 3 :16
All that God requires us to do now is to acknowledge that we have sinned and ask for His forgiveness and trust Him for our salvation by opening our hearts to Him. There is no need to inflict pain on our body. No need to try hard to earn God’s favor by our own moral standards. God’s salvation is a free gift that we must receive. The meaning of Lent is God’s abundant grace made available to you and me.
This is why Lent always ends with celebration. It is a celebration of our new life and restored fellowship with our Creator.

A New Church is Coming

“Are you in the garden business?”, you might ask. If you meant selling garden tools and stuff, then we are not.
Yet in some  ways we are in the garden business. People are like plants in the field that need to be sown in the fertile soil, watered, nurtured and grown. Later they will bring out healthy and delicious fruits that can feed many. I remember those days in my childhood when we had a garden in the backyard. There were many shallow boxes called seedbeds that were filled with rich soil on which we would plant seeds and then water it. We kept those boxes in the greenhouse until the seedlings were ready to be transplanted. When the seedlings were ready or if they had  two to three sets of leaves and well developed roots then we would replant them in pots and took care of them one by one. It reminds me of Christ’s words in John 15 when he said, “the Father is the gardener.” It is a picture of God’s providential love and concern for you and me. He takes care of us, grows us, prunes us and makes us fruitful.
Why Seedbed as a name? The name is a good illustration of our mission to plant the gospel of Christ in the hearts of the people around us. We are committed to faithfully and lovingly teach all nations the teachings of Jesus Christ so that they will  know God, become mature in the faith and obedient to Him. As Christ’s disciples we are then “replanted” in places where God will use us to reach out to those who need Him. Seedbed Church is a place where the seed of faith is planted in the hearts of people and nurtured to bear fruit. It is a place to grow our love for God, our mutual love and concern for one another and compassion for the broken logo seedbed church

We’d like to be a church where everyone could feel at home and where spiritual and emotional renewal and restoration could take place. We’d like to worship the living God in a way that reflects His truth and expresses our true heart.

Seedbed Church will be multiethnic  in composition. Diversity will be our building block to establish a community of faith that is united in love and obedience to Christ and His Word. We are unapologetically Bible-centered in conviction, evangelical in passion and missional in purpose.

While we look forward to our first worship celebration on April 27, 2014, we have already begun ministering to people and connecting them to the Lord through sharing and prayers. We have been making friends and trying to connect to our community. Our new home is at Sierra Madre Congregational Church located at 170 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024.

Sunday Worship is at 2:00PM beginning April 27, 2014. We hope you could come and be blessed.

 Contact us now.

(Updated April 1, 2014)