Lent and Sacrifice:
One sight I will never forget was when I was in Kuwait in the Middle East, and during one of their religious holidays Shia Muslim men beating themselves with chains to their backs as they marched down the streets of the capital to their Mosques. In their version of faith, they expressed sorrow and repentance from sin by self-flagellations, and the drawing of blood.
Our faith is indeed one built upon the shedding of innocent blood, the pain and sacrifice of that, the “Passion” of the Christ. And that is the point. Christ paid for our sins by his blood, his pain, his sacrifice. We need not draw our own blood or inflict our own pain, that price has been paid. But that process starts with the season of Lent, the Shadows of the Cross, ashes on a forehead, signs of our own mortality, and need for Him.
In the Fellowship:
Come to church this Sunday, and as I promised, something very unusual will happen. Not telling you when, but it will occur.
This Sunday marks the 1st Sunday of Lent, and my passages all this season will be coming from the Passion or Upper Room narratives in John’s Gospel. This Sunday John 13. Jesus will be talking about love and the price paid for that love. “Love” as a verb or an attribute of God is used over 150 times in the Bible, it is the most common word in the Bible associated with God or used as a descriptive term. It is all about the love after all.
This Wednesday we are in our weekly Wednesday night devotionals. This Wednesday we are at Grace church, Titusville that worships at the Presbyterian church there. Hope to see you at 7PM every Wednesday night with our sister churches as we all walk that path of faith to the Cross and Empty Tomb.
On Monday 5 March at 7PM I will be doing my annual church officer training for all returning and newly elected Deacons and Elders. God has chosen you and appointed you for His Good Works, and you do not walk this path alone.
Thought for the Week:
If Jesus were nothing more than a good, moral teacher with wise and helpful things to say, yes we would all live in a better world if we listen to them. And yes, his saying would change our lives if we listened to them or paid attention. But human history is full of wise men from Plato to Aristotle, to the Buddha that has wise and helpful things to say, and we do not bother to listen to them, why should we then listen to this rabbi names Jesus. if that was all he was or is. But he is something far more and far more demanding of us. and that is the rub, isn’t it?