The Lenten Gospel Reading Challenge

Lent is a season of preparation where we, as Christians, focus our minds and hearts on Jesus and remember and reflect on the meaning and purpose of his teachings, healings, sacrifice, and suffering. We do this to better prepare ourselves for the joy and celebration of Easter and to live out our commission to share the good news (gospel) of Christ’s resurrection with others.

What better way to prepare ourselves to share the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ than to read and understand it for ourselves? That is why, this Lenten season, Cottage Grove UCC will be taking part in a Gospel Reading Challenge! Beginning on March 11th, Gospel Challenge participants will read one chapter from the Gospel of Matthew every weekday (Mon-Fri). There are 28 chapters in Matthew, so the reading challenge will conclude on the Wednesday of Holy Week (April 17th). There will be two group discussion sessions on Sunday, March 31st following worship (11:45 am) and Wednesday, April 17th (6:00 pm) for Gospel Challenge participants to come together for an intentional time of bible study and conversation.
The Gospel Reading Challenge is a great way to dive into God’s Word each week during Lent in a meaningful yet manageable way. No worries if you miss a day or two of reading during a given week because you have built-in buffer days (Saturday and Sunday) to get caught up. The goal of the challenge, however, is not just to complete the readings but to spend time each day reflecting on Jesus’ life and ministry and what it means for our life and the lives of others in our world today.

I hope you will join in participating in the Gospel Reading Challenge this Lenten season. Those who commit to taking the challenge before March 11th will receive a free copy of the book “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson as a devotional prayer guide to use during Lent or anytime throughout the year. These books are a gift from the CGUCC Worship and Spirituality Team and were purchased, in part, thanks to monies from the congregation’s Moving Forward Fund.


If you are ready to say “YES!” to the Gospel Reading Challenge today, please email the church office ( and simply put “I’M IN! – Gospel Challenge” in the subject line. If you are responding for more than one person in your household, please list all those who wish to participate in the memo portion of the email. You may also register for the Challenge by calling the church office at (651) 459-1501 or signing up on the sheet on the information table in the Gathering Room at church.