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Pastor Jim's Message for Lent

posted Feb 13, 2012, 11:33 AM by Unknown user

Brothers and sisters, it is that time again! It is that very special time of the church year in which we turn away from our distractions and re-dedicate ourselves exclusively to the worship, service, and ministry of the triune God through our glorious Lord, Jesus Christ.


It is impossible for me to define exactly what Lent means for you because, like a fingerprint, Lent is unique to every individual who practices it. Though I can’t describe specifically what Lent means for you, I can describe it by what each one of us must do as we observe it.


In Lent, we stop whatever it is that we are doing with our busy lives. We slow down and grow very quiet. We thoroughly examine where we’ve placed our priorities. We ask ourselves very important questions like, “Are there certain distractions, certain things, maybe even certain people, in my life which cause me to lose my focus on God? Do I need to re-prioritize, or even eliminate, some of my activities so that I might draw closer to my God and His Word this year? What can I do to better serve my neighbor with the love and humility of Jesus Christ?”


Once we ask ourselves these fundamental questions and find our own unique answers to them, then we try very hard to “fast” from these distractions and misplaced priorities so that we might experience the spiritual metamorphosis of Easter.


We Presbyterians are a “confessional” church and we have many confessions which help us decipher what we believe and what we must do as we walk faithfully with our God. One of our most treasured confessions is The Larger Catechism. The very first question this beloved catechism asks us is, “What is the chief and highest aim of humanity?” Do you know what the answer is? The answer is, “Humanity’s chief and highest aim is to glorify God, and to fully enjoy God forever.”


Lent seems hard and complicated at first, but as the catechism states, it is really very easy. Lent is very simple because all you have to do to successfully practice the discipline of Lent is find out what is keeping you from glorifying God and fully enjoying God forever, and once you’ve identified that, you quit doing it! That is really all there is to successfully practicing Lent.  


The spiritual benefits of Lent are amazing, so I strongly encourage each and every one of you to practice your own unique brand of Lent this year. Find out what you can do to glorify and enjoy God forever, and go for it! You’ll be highly rewarded, if you do. Grace and peace to you all in the name of our glorious Lord Jesus Christ! Amen. Pastor Jim