Randy's Reflections
February 1, 2018, 4:52 PM

Pastor Randy's February Reflection

This year February 14th is the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday, as well as Valentine’s Day. Easter, the end of Lent, is April 1st, April Fool’s Day. It seems appropriate somehow that the forty days of Lent, when we spend time thinking about our relationship with God, is between those two days of celebration. The first being a day when we remember or share the most treasured gift we can offer someone, love. The last day being a day when all of Jerusalem thought the upstart rebel from the little town in Galilee was long gone. I mean three days in a tomb, surely this would-be Messiah was finished. But it was only the beginning – fooled them!

 

The season of Lent is an important part of the Church year. It is a reminder that the Christian walk includes a time of personal devotion, commitment from a community, and love from above. At some point in our life we need to decide if following an obscure itinerant preacher from two thousand years ago is a wise thing to do. And if it is, then are we willing to pay the cost in time and effort. It is a personal promise that will extract the deepest commitment from us. Discipleship can be costly, but it is worth it.

 

Such personal devotion is not something we can achieve on our own. We will need an emotional support base which will stand by us when the world around us seems to be dragging us down. We will need encouragement when it seems as though a pin point of light in the darkness is but a mere dream. We will need to be inspired to hope when all around us people are giving up. We will need a community that will stand with us through thick and thin.

 

Of course this Christian walk will not be left to our own devotional devices. Nor can we only rely on the people around us to help us keep walking through the tough times. God sent his son for our redemption because he loves us. This love will surround us, envelop us, and carry us through the toughest times. I hope and pray that you will experience this love and know that God wants the best for you. God has promised us peace and joy.

 

As we celebrate our Christian walk together during worship I want to try something different during Lent. As we offer God adoration and praise on the Sundays during our services this year we will give you an opportunity to share some “Words of Encouragement” with the rest of the congregation. Like last year we will take time for Confession and hear the Assurance of Pardon each Sunday during Lent, but during our regular prayer time we will hear from people in our congregation who have recognized how God has touched their lives.

 

I will be preaching through chapter five of Matthew, the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. This is a great section on Christian ethics, but Jesus often punctuated his teaching with stories. So we want to give people an opportunity to share a small portion of their story with the rest of the congregation.

 

If you have an experience you would like to share about how God touched your life, please email me at jkpcrandy@sbcglobal.net. I would love to hear from you. Perhaps you aren’t interested in speaking, but would love to share your story. You can write out your experience and I can read it to the congregation. Or perhaps you just want an opportunity to share something meaningful about God with one other person. I am available.

 

We all need a word of encouragement from other followers of Jesus to bolster our faith and to inspire us as we walk this road of faith.

 

Hoping to hear from you. Whether you want it kept private or are willing have your experience shared publicly, please share with me.

 

Blessings, Pastor Randy