Give It Up

I will be reading through my Dad’s Bible during Lent which has lots of notes on each page as you can see!

I will be reading through my Dad’s Bible during Lent which has lots of notes on each page as you can see!

As United Methodists still try to figure out the depth of their reactions to the special General Conference last month, we have now arrived at the season of Lent in the life of the Church.

This is a season preceding Easter which allows us to be introspective in our faith. We ask ourselves how we are doing. What does your walk with Jesus look like?

Are you closer to God today or do you wish your faith was deeper?

Most Christians profess a need to either pray or read the Bible a little more often than they do - and maybe the “or” should be an “and” if we are truly honest. It would be nice if we could just order a stronger faith on Amazon! One where we didn’t need to read the directions!

Some people choose to give things up during Lent. They may have a discipline that includes some kind of fasting from a particular food, beverage or habit. In the past, I’ve given up sweets, hamburgers and one year I even gave up salsa! I did come down sick that year so I’ve not returned to that particular discipline.

We do these things because Lent is a season where we think about sacrifice and repentance. Our own sacrifices should remind us of the suffering that Jesus underwent not only on the cross but on his journey to get there. And then, as we think about the incarnational nature of our faith, we are reminded that Jesus is present in the sufferings of other people on this planet. So our fasting from something particular puts us spiritually in solidarity with others who are troubled. These identifications will hopefully lead us to a greater compassion in our lives.

I would encourage you to either give something up or to take up a new discipline as we walk in Lent toward Easter. For my own path, I will be blogging daily as I read through the Gospel of Matthew. If you don’t have a discipline yet, why not read through this Gospel with me? I especially encourage people to make their own comments following the blog post and this will be a way for us to engage the scripture together.

We will also have several opportunities for the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday which is March 6. We will have an independent imposition of ashes at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Y Chapel from 11 am to 1 pm. You may come and receive and we will pray with you during this time. We will also have a service for our younger church members at 6:00 pm in Wesley Hall. This will take about 30 minutes. Finally, we will have a regular worship service in our sanctuary at 7 pm.

I will be preaching on 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 for the sanctuary service.

On Sunday, we will begin a series entitled, “With What Shall I Come Before the Lord?” and we will look at Deuteronomy 26:1-11.

I would invite you to join us in worship either in person or online as we seek to deepen our faith together!

In Christ,

Sam

Check out more of Sam’s blog articles at precedinggrace.blogspot.com.