The season of Lent has begun. This is a time of observance for the 40 days, excluding Sundays, on the journey toward Easter. We become pilgrims setting aside daily time to walk this road with care and meaning. It begins with Ash Wednesday, a time when we remember that God is our provider who gave us life, sustains life and receives our souls to a new kind of life at the end of our days. Jesus used his 40 days to open his soul to be filled completely by the Spirit. He did so in order to prepare to live the important calling on his life: to introduce the world to a new understanding of our relationship with a God who is Love.
Our worship series for this season is themed, “On the Way to Something Good.” We will be listening and learning together as Jesus encounters a whole host of colorful folks on his journeys, meeting them where they are, giving them something good to take away with them, and changing their lives forever with a touch of divine Love.
Lenten disciplines have been taught in many ways, and occasionally we have been taught that we do our fasting to appease God’s anger for our sinfulness. While it is true that we all lose our way and fall short of our most cherished ideals for goodness, Christ asked us to turn back toward God in such a way that we are growing our faith and trust in God’s goodness rather than reinforcing cycles of alienation and fear of punishment. May I suggest this year, you try practices that allow you to reconnect with the depth of divine Love that will give you true strength to face life with courage and compassion each day. Christ once said it very clearly, “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. Would any of you give your child a stone if she was hungry instead of bread? Or a snake to harm him if he needed fish for food?” The question Christ asks us is pointed, and directly related to our practices for getting closer to God: Then why in the world would you practice your faith in such a way that you would not believe God would delight in giving you life-giving things as well?
Glad you’re there, Rev. Pressley
Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa
408 East Cayuga Street, Tampa FL 33603