Hope all is well with you this week! This week begins the season of Lent, the 40 days (not including Sunday’s) leading up to Easter. Lent has traditionally been a time to focus on turning our whole attention to Christ, to actively create space in our lives where this is possible (especially where it has not been before), and to listen intently to what He would say to us as we prepare for the celebration of Easter, Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection. This week we will be offering an opportunity to offer yourself to God in a new way, to consecrate more of who you are to more of who He is. I hope you will join in this journey of preparation. It will be a total blessing!
With that in mind here are the activities this week:
Tuesday Worship—6:30pm, we will look at the Belt of Truth, especially how it relates to Jesus’ time of temptation in the desert.
Wednesday, Special Ash Wednesday Service—Noon in our chapel! Come and receive the imposition of ashes. We will prepare our hearts together for this time of consecration!
Thursday Free Meal & Program—6:30pm, we will look at how life can so easily become like the soil on the path, as well as what to do when that happens!
Ladies Groups: Wed. 1:30pm / Thurs. 3pm
Men’s Group: Thurs. 5:30pm
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
I live in a testosterone zone. I am married to a wonderful man and also have two small sons. Clearly I am outnumbered three to one. The thing about being around boys all the time (and college students by the way) is that humor can often be very earthy, especially when it comes to bodily functions. Passing gas is very much a moment of triumph and humor at my house, especially for my two year old. We will be sitting in a room, hear a tell-tale noise, smell the tell-tale smell, and know that somebody “tooted.” Isaiah will often say, with much enthusiasm, “I did it!”
One afternoon I was picking my boys up at their grandmother’s house. I had just arrived and walked into the kitchen where my 12 year old niece was explaining that she had spent the afternoon helping one of her schoolmates with his work. It was a proud moment when she explained to Nanny that she had been his tutor. Isaiah was in the same room as well, and every time she said the word tutor, he would bust out laughing. It took us a little while, but I finally figured out that he thought she was talking about passing gas. He thought it was hysterical!
I can’t help wondering how many times we are trying to share with someone about our faith or trying to tell an unbeliever about Jesus and the results turn out the same? We are trying to be helpful, like a tutor, seeking to share the knowledge that brings God’s life and goodness to those who need it, and instead they respond as if we are smelly, like a tootie, which is really all about hot air. There were many times when I was a teenager that a friend would try to convince me I needed to be “saved” (apparently they thought infant baptism didn’t count), and I came away feeling less like I had received good news and more like I never wanted to speak with that person again. Which also created quite a dilemma when I too felt led to share my faith with someone else: I really didn’t want to stink up the place and turn them off instead of turning them on to a relationship with Christ.
What I have learned since then is that good news only has its source in the only One who is truly good. Consider the following scene as it unfolded for the first people to really share God’s good news:
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound lik the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in
The Holy Spirit, which is God’s power and presence with us, gave them everything they needed to speak the word of truth to those who needed to hear it, and who were also vastly different from them. So what I have learned, and what I have witnessed in my own life, is that the Spirit of God makes the message of God clear in a language the hearer can understand. On that day it had a lot to do with literal languages. I think that is still true, but I also believe that today it has as much to do with different generations, different cultures, different experiences, different everything. Each one of us hears differently, for all kinds of reasons. It takes the wisdom and power of God to translate His good news into truly good news for all of us. We each hear differently; we need God to translate His Holy Word into our difference. We may still not accept it, but at least then we can understand it.
So this Lent, it is my prayer that God will fill us with the power of His Holy Spirit, just like Jesus came out of the wilderness filled with the power of the Spirit, so that we can truly convey the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection to people who need to experience it so badly. If we try to do it without Him, even though our intentions might be good, our results will smell. And who wants to be smelly when we can be the aroma of Christ? May God’s grace and goodness help us to become tutors of His Holy Word. And may we receive all the help we can get, especially in all the ways we try to give it.
This is me hoping,
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