Let me introduce this blog. It is a place where I will be sharing some thoughts and observations from time to time, but most importantly, it is where I will be sharing the direction of the sermons for the coming weeks. I tend to preach from a mix of lectionary and series. This blog will keep you posted as to what those sermons are going to be. I hope that you will check back on a regular basis, as I will keep this page updated as the series and/or sermons change.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Lent is Upon Us
Ash Wednesday (February 18th) is the beginning of the Lenten Season which concludes on Easter Sunday (which begins the Easter Season). Lent is a season for reflection, retrospection, and transformation. It is the season where we take time to
re-evaluate the level of commitment we truly have towards following Jesus.
For many, Lent is a difficult season due to the fact that
it seems so gloomy, so earthen. It is
not a triumphant season in the same way Advent, Christmas, or Easter and
Pentecost are. J.C.J. Metford describes
Lent this way: “A season of prayer, penance and self-discipline, beginning on
the Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter, precedes the joyful
celebration of Christ’s victory over death.” We Christians can so quickly fall into the
trap of triumphalism, the idea we are somehow so far superior to everyone else
that we forget to remember Jesus’ call to follow him and the prophetic
instruction to walk with God in humility.
Lent is the time that pulls us back to earth and asks us to consider if
we are truly walking with Jesus or merely taking the name of Jesus with us and little else.
One of the ways by which many Christians observe the Lenten season is to give something up - usually a vice of some sort: smoking, overeating, chocolate, etc. But the idea behind that particular Lenten observation has become a bit watered down. It wasn't that you gave something up (which people usually took back up once Easter arrived), but that when you gave something up you also took something else up in its place - specifically some kind of spiritual discipline that would draw you into a deeper relationship with God. So if you give something up, you might take upon yourself the practice of a morning/daily devotion time. You might work to develop a prayer life. You might seek to be in the community of believers more frequently.
The point is that the time of Lent is one for growth. It is my hope that you will take this time to do just that and, as the old hymn said, draw into a closer walk with Thee.