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March 2018

The season of Lent!

A season where we experience the transformation from winter to spring – gathering in cold and darkness to watching the sun set and shedding coats for jackets; not leaving out my favorite flowers, tulips and daffodils bringing color to our desolate land.

Lent is a season of somberness – no Hallelujahs, now! And, as a season, it is without as much hype and commercialism as Christmas (save for the Cadbury bunnies and Reese’s Eggs!), a time in which we have that long, gradual build toward Holy Week and Easter.

Some have called this time of year a journey; a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to the temple, and the cross. Ultimately it will lead us to the tomb and garden. Historically it has been a season of self-denial – not the giving up stuff for Lent to see if I can do it so I can feel better about myself kind of self-denial, but self-denial that is filled with something else – study, reflection, service – those disciplines that will draw us closer to the one who is the perfect example of self-denial and sacrificial love.

The thing that has troubled me during this time of year is that I can feel inadequate. That’s the ME talking and not letting Him speak to me. The ME wants to compare what I have done or am doing to what Jesus was experiencing as He neared the cross. And that is the wrong way to look at this. Jesus might tell me, “Get behind me Satan.” For He was the ONLY one possible to do what was impossible for me to do, bear the sins of all of us on the cross. In doing so we were GIVEN what we did not earn or do not deserve – complete forgiveness of our sins.

So as I journey, as I pray, as I consider what Jesus took upon Himself, I believe it is simply right to just offer praise and thanksgiving. My praise follows the tone in Psalm 145:8-13:

8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.

The Lord always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.

We journey together,

Pastor Greg