Pastor’s corner for March 2017
As we come to the end of our 45 day reading program, I hope everyone who took on the challenge gained some new spiritual insights. If we were to reread the gospels for a second time there would be more insight. Because the gospels are alive and truth prevails within them. So I hope everyone was blessed by it.
This year our theme for Lent is as old as Lent itself. That is giving of ourselves. Some people have the idea if they give up coffee or chocolate for a few weeks they done a great service for God. Lent is not that at all.
What is Lent? Lent is the forty days (do not count the Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. It is a time to draw nearer to God, by prayer, fasting, and supplication.
Fasting in its truest sense is what Jesus did in Matthew 4:2″And when he (Jesus) had fasted for forty days and forty nights he was hungry.” WOW! That puts a new perspective on giving up coffee/chocolate for a day……doesn’t it?
Christianity Today gives the following historical description: “(Fortieth) Until the 600s, Lent began on Quadragesima Sunday, but Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were feast days. Gregory, who is regarded as the father of the medieval papacy, is also credited with the ceremony that gives the day its name. As Christians came to the church for forgiveness, Gregory marked their foreheads with ashes reminding them of the biblical symbol of repentance (sackcloth and ashes) and mortality: “You are dust, and to dust you will return” (Gen 3:19).“ WWW.christianitytoday.com /history
Lent was a time in history marked by fasting and preparation for those seeking baptism. As time passed Christians used this time to repent of sins. We should always repent of sins. Don’t wait until Lent to repent, do it when the sin happens. The church needs to get back to the basics of Christianity and sound Biblical doctrine. We wonder why we are not impacting the world for Christ, it’s because we are not grounded in the practice of God’s word.
Jesus went to the cross and died for us. The power of Resurrection Sunday is something we should experience every day. The only way to do it is spend time with God in Bible reading and in prayer so we can be blessed by Him. Lent is good place to start, however, we need to put into practice those spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and sacrificial giving every day. As we draw nearer to the cross we must examine our motives for praying and fasting, looking for the pride and self-righteousness that separates us from God and our fellow Christians, and Repent! Amen.
Blessings in Christ