This is the message for April 9, 2017. This is for Palm Sunday, and it is a reflection on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It begins with 2 Samuel 12:1-7a.
Posts in category Lent
This is the message for April 2, 2017. This is for the fifth Sunday in Lent. The scripture for this week’s reading is from John 11:1-45 – and it is the amazing account of the raising of Lazarus.
This is the message for March 26, 2017. This is for the fourth Sunday in Lent. The scripture for this week’s reading is from John 9:1-41 – and it is the story of Jesus healing the man born blind.
This is the message for March 19, 2017. This is for the third Sunday in Lent. The scripture for this week’s reading is from John 4 – and it is the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.
“Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” -Exodus 20:1-2
“More than any other discipline, fasting reveals the things that control us.” -Richard Foster “Celebration of Discipline”
That quote from Richard Foster sticks with me. In my experience, when I am fasting, I discover that certain things have a grip on my heart in ways I was not aware of. “Idolatry” has been described as taking a thing, possibly even a good thing, and making it a God thing. When we put things in the place of God they become idols. This can even mean when we look to other things to fulfill needs that are meant to be fulfilled by God, they slip into becoming idols for us. A thing does not have to be bad in order for it to be an idol. It just has to be something we put into God’s place in our lives. I think it is helpful during times of prayer and fasting to ask what is shaping us. What are the things that have control over our lives? What are the things that we are looking to for meaning? As these things are revealed to us, our response ought to be repentance. We should turn back to God as we turn away from our idols.
We had a wonderful Ash Wednesday worship this year. One of the notable things during our Ash Wednesday service was that our youth attended, and our children from our Wednesday evening children’s program also came up to receive the ashes. The way we received ashes this year, was to come forward and kneel on the kneelers up front and I came and made the shape of the cross on each person’s forehead while saying, “Remember, O mortal, from dust you came, to dust you shall return, repent, and believe the gospel.” This is a call for each of us to remember our mortality and then to raise the question as to how we ought to live our lives and to repent and follow the Lord.
Contemplating my own mortality is enough of an exercise and challenge, but this Ash Wednesday I was struck by something I didn’t expect when it came to impose the ashes on my wife and my children. Read More »