Michael's Musings

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over, he was famished."
Luke 4:1-2
"The greatest temptation is to settle for too little."
Thomas Merton

bar3The Lenten season is often one of the missed opportunities in the spiritual life. Many see it as a burden as they attempt to find something to give up for 40 days. Some see it as an inconvenience whereby the demands of a faith journey are presented as a downer. For Jesus, however, it was a time to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a time to allow God to provide the assistance necessary so that Lent doesn't become another dreary season of "don’t." Lent is a season of saying "yes" to the work the Lord desires to accomplish in each one of us.

We live in a culture that assesses our value based upon how we can manipulate and influence. Jesus, even though the Son of God, still understands that status and privilege will only go so far. The forces working against a solid faith are tremendous: busy schedules, shallow preferences, false expectations, excuses and the avoidance of responsibilities all demand our attention. In many ways the dialogue that follows the above text (Luke 4:3-13) is an inner dialogue for Jesus. He has the authority to take control of the kingdoms of the world and he knows it. The accuser attempts to convince him to bend to what he can do, inviting him to "prove" that he is God. Jesus, of course, sees so much more. He sees a future that will require dedication, pain and suffering. With the help of the spirit, he is able to see beyond the immediate moment and work for a future that does not "prove" that he is God, but instead, saves humankind.

Our faith journey is no different. Developing a true sense of servanthood requires
more than just the right words, more than getting people to notice us or agree
with us. It is the sprit leading us into the arms of the work of the kingdom. How
will you engage in Lent in a way so that it is more than just a 40 day period to be
endured, and instead find the Holy Spirit driving you into prayer, Bible study and
service? The wonder of our faith is not that our lives are blessed, but rather, that
we are a blessing to others! Don't give too little attention to the Lenten experience
or you may miss the power of being filled to overflowing!

See you in worship!
Rev. Michael








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