Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lent and More

Well, it has been a while since I last posted. Since my last post, I have started a website for the church (www.fpcstillwater.org.) That site includes the audio of my weekly sermon (starting on February 21.) It also has helpful information about the congregation in Stillwater. I hope you will take the time to check it out!

Now, let's look at Lent. I have to admit I grew up in a denomination that didn't really pay much attention to Lent. Good Friday and Easter was all that we dealt with. What a shame! There is much to be gained from a proper attention to the Time of Lent. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about "giving something up for Lent" and all that entails. If you choose to do that, great, but there is so much more to this season than simply giving something up.

The Lenten Discipline includes, repentance, prayer, fasting, and works of love. Lent is a time to specifically work on these areas of our spiritual lives (areas that we should be doing all the time!.) Lenten Discipline is all about growing in our Christian walk. That is why I am more for "adding' than "giving up." If you choose to give up chocolate, good for you (I am giving up brussel sprouts.) But what we really need to be doing is adding practices to our daily walk with God. If you already do these practices, great! Do them even more intentionally.

Repentance and penitence prepares our hearts for Easter. Prayer is one of the ways we are able to accomplish this. Prayer is also the vehicle to help us when we make the decision to fast (in ways that are appropriate especially for those who have physical necessities to eat) and with our works of service. Giving of our time, talent, and treasure is a big part of a proper Lenten Discipline. We have been given so much and we often appreciate it too little.

Lent is here. Easter is coming. Let's get ready!