FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
 
   “Even with these words, Paul and Barnabas, had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. The crowd stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.” Acts 14:18-20
     In the early 1800s, Napoleon marched his army through Switzerland. Everywhere they went, people greeted Napoleon with thunderous applause: “Long live the King! Hail to the Emperor Napoleon!” But Napole on didn’t seem too excited about their praise. A fellow officer asked him, “Isn’t it great to hear the roar of the crowd? Napoleon replied, “The same people that are cheering for me today would cheer just as loudly at my execution.”
   Napoleon knew you could be the hero one day, and a total zero, the next. That was certainly true for Paul. When Paul entered the city of Lystra, he healed a lame man and the people thought he was a god come to earth. But then Jewish opponents “won the crowd over” and they wanted Paul dead.”
   Both these events reveal people are fickle. And that’s especially true of crowds. When you are part of a crowd, it’s easy to lose your judgment or make poor choices as you get caught up in what the rest of the crowd is doing. And that can happen to you today. We call it giving in to “peer pressure.”
   My sermon series for Lent, “Don’t Follow the Crowd” will examine seven of the crowds that followed Jesus. And in most cases I will point out the errors those crowds made so you don’t make the same mistakes in your Christian walk. My sermons for Lent will be:   March 1 - “The Frightened Crowd”
  March 8 - “Feeding the Hungry Crowd”
  March 15 - “Don’t Get Lost in the Crowd”
  March 22 - “Stand Up to the Crowd”
  March 29 - “The Careless Crowd”
  April 5 - “The Thoughtless Crowd”
  April 12 - “The Easter Crowd”
   Enclosed in your newsletter is a flyer about this sermon series. I’m asking you to please pass this on to a friend, neighbor or relative who doesn’t have a home church. Please use it as a way to invite them to join us for worship during this Lenten Season. More flyers are available at the church for other friends and family members.
   In Christ’s love,
   Pastor Steve