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We often discuss the weather. In the past few weeks we had days below freezing and other days in the 90’s; dreary rainy days and bright sunny afternoons. Such rapid changes make it hard to plan much of anything. Have you been caught without a jacket or umbrella because the weather snuck up on you? Personally, I prefer to be surprised by a beautiful sunny day than by a wet, gloomy day.
Well, the seasons of the church year have a tendency to sneak up on us in the same way. Every person is so busy that it is a challenge to plan our work, school, sports, family and church activities without forgetting something. To many people, Lent is seen as that wet, gloomy day.
You may expect me to say that thing is “church”. No, but it is something you hear at church quite a bit. What is Pastor’s Rule # 1? “You will have fun.”
But, you say, “fun” isn’t a church word. You are right, so if need be, use, “joy”.
But, you say, “Lent is not about fun.” Again, you are right. Lent is a time of preparation and penitence. Where is the fun in that? It is in knowing the grace filled love of Christ in our lives. If that doesn’t make you happy, then we need to talk.
But, we are so busy and we get so tired and there are so many demands on us and, and, and… forever it seems. Yep, believe me, pastors understand busy. But what does Jesus have to say on the subject? What did he say to Martha? About the flowers in the field? About the truly important things in life? If we can live in the peace of Jesus’ love in our lives, we get a whole different attitude.
Is that easy? It should be. Remember the man who was forgiven a fortune in debt and yet had another man who owed him a trifle thrown into prison? How much does our outward attitude reflect our inward attitude? If we feel grace in our hearts, it is much more likely we will share grace in our daily lives.
So, what is the point?
When Spring arrives we usually feel a newness of life and lifted spirits, Right?
When we leave Worship do we also feel a newness of life and lifted spirits? Worship (even Lenten Worship) is not about adding burdens and trying to “guilt” us into certain things or feelings. Worship is about praising God and giving thanks for the freely given love of Jesus Christ our Lord. The Season of Lent is a poignant reminder that God’s plan has never been limited to one event or just a few weeks of the year. From beginning through eternity to come, God’s plan is a love story with each of us playing the role of the “beloved.”
Pastor Richard E. Brunk, Jr.