Feb
24
2009

Don’t give up, give to

I had an online conversation Tuesday with someone who was figuring out what to do for Lent.  We came to the conclusion that to the point isn’t to “give up” things but to “give to.”  Specifically, we’re invited to join our Creator’s work, to give our time, energy and resources to our neighbors and to our relationship with God.

In a world where it seems like we are flying upside-down at very high speed, Lent is a good time to recapture our bearings.  It seems that every day we learn that some of our assumptions are wrong.  The rules we have believed in about our economy, our environment, our politics, and even our faith seem called into question.

Perhaps it is our perspective that needs adjusting.  Jesus told his disciples, when they argued over who would be first in the kingdom, that ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35)  This was a common theme — in order to find your life you have to be willing to lose it.  It echoed the tradition’s hope in God’s justice: The high places will be brought low and the valleys raised, the prophet Isaiah said.  The bottom line of his message is: Jesus tells us here that seeing is not believing, that there is a deeper and truer reality that lies beyond what our senses tell us is real.

My prayer for you this Lent is that you will accept God’s invitation to give to your relationship with Him and, through that, to the deep needs of the world around you.

I hope you will join us at our Ash Wednesday service (6 pm at Potterfields) to hear the story and receive the symbol of ashes.  And in the weeks to come, I hope you will delve into your relationship with Christ and his world.  We will have a number of services, service opportunities and other experiences to help you do that during Lent.

As you receive ashes and remember that we are all dust, I hope you will hear that we are all connected in our common humanity and our common call to join God’s mission as it unfolds in and around us.

In the midst of repentance and sacrifice, keep your eye on the hope that you have been called to, and share it with the world!

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

As we work together with him,* we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,

‘At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.’

See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!

(2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2)

May you be more deeply present with God and the world this Lent!

With and in Christ,

Bob


Christine Sine posted this beautiful and powerful video meditation — a good way to start your Ash Wednesday.

Written by Bob Fisher in: uncategorized |

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