Gabriel's Horn,Pastor Tim,March, 2015

posted Feb 25, 2015, 8:58 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 25, 2015, 8:58 AM ]

As we continue through the forty days of Lent, we set aside time for reading the Bible and other devotional books, for fasting, and for prayer.  Perhaps we serve people by volunteering at a local ministry -  helping people in need.  Sometime we make monetary contributions to help the poor instead of spending it on ourselves.  

          We do all these things in an effort to grow closer to our Lord Jesus during Lent.  Some of the Lenten practices we may want to continue throughout the year.

          But what happens when we fall short of our lofty goals?  We have the best intentions when we say we will read our Bible every day, or participate in one of the other Lenten disciplines, but then life happens.  There is that unexpected project, or invitation that causes us to skip one, two or more days.  We do not need to feel guilty. 

          Laura Lenard set the goal of “spending at least one full, uninterrupted hour with God during each day of Lent.”  She picked one hour because it would force her to rearrange her schedule.  She felt she needed to “shake things up” and that spending one hour a day with God would reignite her faith. 

          She candidly admits that she failed.  “More often than not,” she writes, “I said yes to the invitation, or I went to the gym, or I read.  Sometimes I just mindlessly watched TV, waving off the voice in my head saying, remember that commitment you made? Now would be the perfect time...”

Then Laura read an article that suggested that “failing” at Lent is sort of the point.  The author explained, “Easter becomes an occasion to celebrate the fact that my self-respect does not hinge on my self-discipline, and that my very lack of discipline is the paradoxical sign of the gospel.  Indeed, while we were gluttons and prayer-less, while we didn’t give a rip about the poor, Christ died for us.  We may be faithless in areas small and large, but he remains faithful through and through.”  (Today’s Christian Woman, April 2012)

          Even though we may have fallen short or outright failed, Christ died for us.  Too often we make our faith all about ourselves and what we can do instead of keeping our focus on Jesus and the cross.  Isn’t that the whole point of grace?  We do not have to do anything but receive God’s gift.  It is only by God’s grace that we can do anything meaningful at all.

          “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life.”  (John 3:16)

          We do our best but know that when we fall short—that is all right.  We are covered, by God’s amazing grace.  At the times when I fall short--I am thankful for that grace!

 

          See you in church,

Your Pastor,

Pastor Tim

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