At a recent Lent seminar I attended, one of those present said, “Lent is about honesty.” That is a good message for us to remember on this Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
First and foremost in Lent, we must be honest with God about our sins. We should not sugar-coat it or make excuses or trivialize it. We have sinned. We are at fault. We have not obeyed the will of our God. There is no denying it anymore. We must confess sincerely what we have done.
And we must be honest with ourselves and say that we would not be here at all were it not for God. He is the one who created us. He is the one who gave us breath. He is the one who guides and protects us. Everything about who we are is a miracle from him and he deserves all the credit for that.
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We are in the green season of Pentecost now.
Now that we are at the beginning of what is called “the long green season of Pentecost.” I find it beneficial to review for myself the significance of the color of this season and the colors of all the seasons of the Church Year.
Whether you know it or not, church tradition has established colors to correspond with each season of the Church Year. Currently, we are in the “green” season of the Sundays after Pentecost (which will end in November.) Green is a symbol of growth and maturity. This is a time for us to grow in and become more grounded in our faith. Green helps us to remember that Christ is the Vine and we are the branches, so we need to continually rely on him through prayer, worship, devotion and Bible study. We are always to be lifelong learners of faith. Let this be your mindset and mood during these weeks.
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A stone bass relief of a Lamb of God image
In an article “Shape of the Future” in the January 23, 2016 edition of World magazine, essayist Andrée Seu Peterson talks about how Christ chose to lay down his life for us on the cross during the Jewish Feast of Passover. It is no coincidence then that Jesus is referred to many times in Scripture as the Lamb of God and the Passover Lamb, who was sacrificed for the sins of the people.
Interestingly enough, Peterson points out, two other Jewish feasts tie perfectly to the events that follow in the story of Christ. The Resurrection, like the Firstfruits Feast, occurs next, and then the Continue reading →
I have been cleaning my basement for the last few months, going through box after box of old school papers and other mementos. In one box, I found this interesting piece of art:
I think I made this when I was around 10. It is a homemade plaque—a block of wood and an assortment of mismatched tiles with a flimsy string for hanging on the wall. What struck me most was the message that I chose to add: “Thank you, God, for my abilitys.” I find it ironic that I spelled abilities wrong, since I would later become an editor who checks manuscripts and corrects spelling errors for a living. Continue reading →
We are experiencing a rare occurrence this year as Valentine’s Day falls on the First Sunday in Lent on the Church Year calendar. It does not happen too often, so I am curious if many parishes are making a point about it or not.
I do remember that in one year when it happened, the church where I was worshipping handed out little paper hearts to each member gathered there and they asked us to drop the hearts down the aisle as we walked up to Communion. At first I thought it was a bit hokey, but it must have made an impact, because it is now 23 years later and I still remember the Continue reading →