I have exactly two minutes to post this before it's tomorrow. That's not going to happen. What else isn't going to happen is that I'm going to become legalistic about this thing. So tonight I share with you a couple videos I made today as we stepped into the world of live-streaming after it's become one of the only ways to reach groups of people. We all wish we could change the channel to watch something other than coronavirus and all the news around that.
I spent today with others in my church body from Alberta and BC, talking about the work of our church. Almost 12 hours of formal meetings, then another couple hours visiting and talking about the work of the church over flights at a micro-brewery next to the hotel (well, I had a cider...celiac disease and all that...but others had some good-looking beer flights).
Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), fasting and preparing to be tempted by the devil. We're not told in Scripture what He did in that time, other than He fasted. He went without earthly sustenance, and even in reply to being tempted by bread, He said that people don't live only by bread, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
I'm becoming a bit of a political...observer. Not a pundit, not a junkie, just an interested observer. I know that the two things one isn't supposed to talk about in polite conversation are religion and politics. Well, you're going to get lots of talk about religion here, and a bit of politics too. I guess I'm just not that polite.
On Tuesdays, our church sends out an email newsletter. Each week I write a short summary of the past Sunday's theme and message. This past Sunday was the First Sunday in Lent, and we read three passages of Scripture: Genesis 3:1-21, Romans 5:12-19, and Matthew 4:1-11. While it's entirely too short (isn't everything?), here's what I shared with the congregation I serve in today's newsletter.
Yesterday I shared some words from a pastor who wrote a poetic reflection on what Lent is. The last thought was this:
Not a very happy time,
But it is what
You have to go through
To get to Easter.
I ran across an article a couple days ago that had some good reflections on Lent. It's worth reading in its own right, but what really stuck with me were these words:
The Second Season :: Rev. Wayne Saffron
Forty days till Easter,
Not counting Sundays.
We're often tempted to make everything about us. (Or is that just me?) There are so many times in our lives when we think things are about us, but they're really not. Maybe you had an interaction recently where someone responded in a way that you thought was odd. Chances are pretty good that they were dealing with or thinking about something in their own lives, and they reacted oddly to you, but they didn't think you were odd.
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. In ancient times, people would physically show their repentance by sitting in sackcloth—a rough, burlap-like fabric—and ashes. It was a way to demonstrate to others that you were really sorry for a wrongdoing of some kind.
As a "side" project, TheResonant suffers from being to the side of many other areas of life: my pastoral call, family, and other volunteer projects. When something has to give, this is one of the first things. But that's no way to build momentum and a worthwhile project. So I'm embarking on a new project for the season of Lent this year: a sort of reverse idea of "giving something up".