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March 1, 2017, 9:09 AM

Lenten Journey



Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Today marks the beginning of the Lenten journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter. This 40-day trek (minus Sundays, which are days of celebration) through the wilderness of self-denial is a reminder of the call to humbly submit our whole lives to the lordship of Jesus Christ. As the Word of God says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). The Lord is our true sustenance. He alone can satisfy the longings of our soul. Without Him we can be fat on the things of the world, yet suffering from awful malnutrition.

If you have never participated in a Lenten fast, I invite you to open yourself to this powerful time of repentance, reflection and seeking. Through this journey, we can deepen our awareness of God’s forgiveness and purifying presence. The call to a holy Lent is an open invitation to humble ourselves before God and seek Him above all else, as we follow in the steps of Jesus all the way to Calvary – where Jesus laid down his life in the ultimate act of love and self-denial.

Through this season of fasting, prayer, repentance and seeking we are invited to slow down the pace of life and meditate upon the works of the Lord. We are called to stop the insanity of our modern day living and remember the works of our Lord. Psalm 143:1, 5-6 declares, “Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my supplications in your faithfulness; answer me in your righteousness . . . I remember the days of old, I think about all your deeds, I meditate on the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” The Lord, our God, is faithful. We can trust Him. We can rely fully upon Him. The provision we find in His body and blood is sufficient for us. For these reasons, we fix our eyes on Jesus.

The call to fix our eyes on Jesus is a call to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). St. Clement wrote the following in his Letter to the Corinthians: “Let us fix our thoughts on the blood of Christ, inasmuch as its outpouring for our salvation has opened the grace of repentance to all mankind.” What a powerful and beautiful reminder of what we are called to celebrate not only on Resurrection Sunday but also on every day throughout the year.

Let us pray together: Father, grant me forgiveness of what is past, that in the days to come I may with a pure spirit, do your will – walking humbly with you, showing love to all, and keeping body and soul in sanctification and honor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

You are Loved!

Pastor Jason Stevens


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