Ashes to Fire…
Ashes to Fire series now through May 19th
Palm Sunday Worship: 10:30am March 24, 2013
Good Friday service: 6:30pm March 29, 2013
Easter Sunday Fellowship Breakfast: 10:00am March 31, 2013
Easter Resurrection Celebration: 10:30am March 31, 2013
Pentecost Event: 10:30am Sunday, May 19, 2013
Church fellowship meal: 11:30am Sunday, May 19, 2013
I’m thinking today about how God works in the world. It seems like there’s no end to the variety and depth of God’s work. The physical creation is mammoth and beautiful. The human spirit is deep and amazing. And people trying to live together can inspire or destroy. For Christians, the gospel is the story that pulls all this together. The season of Lent is a time set aside to make sure that gospel story is defining the boundaries of our story.
There’s no question that brokenness defines our world as it is and to some extent all of our lives, individually and together. That’s why we need the gospel. God says the brokenness is so deep that only God’s love can heal it. God says the creation groans and longs for salvation, so God has invited us to care for it, individually and together. God says people are meant to share life together, to be on a journey that’s going somewhere.
Life on our own has left a valley of ashes that clog us up, threaten our world, and hide our potential. God is calling us to be alive with a cleansing fire that brings warmth and light. God is calling us to walk in that transforming light together.
So let us leave behind the valley of mediocre living in the cold, filthy, dark. Let’s leave behind coming together to build the empire of “us” vs “them”. Let’s leave behind using up this world so that it’s resources feed our temporary wants.
Jesus entered our world to serve us, to call us together, and to send us out to serve the world. In Lent, we can identify the sources of ash in our life and trade them in for the sources of fire. We can lay aside our own control and submit to holy discipline. We can lay aside false goals and false stories and embrace God’s vision for life. We can lay aside our independence, choosing to be in relationship with God & others.
All of this gets us ready to celebrate the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We celebrate it best not with a holiday. We celebrate it best by living into this new reality, which can fuel a holy fire that lights this world with love. Lent comes before Easter because repentance comes before new life.
I’m thankful to be part of a church family on a journey together to live Jesus’ continuing mission in our world. I’m thankful to be part of a huddle of fellow pastors who love and pray for each other. I’m thankful for a family I can serve and love. These all make me thankful for the cycle of Lent->Easter->Pentecost. It’s an opportunity to live on purpose. Lent=Repentance, Easter=new life, Pentecost=living God’s mission in God’s power. This continual process eventually writes me fully into the gospel story and helps me invite others along. Ashes to Fire. It’s the story of our faith. Come truly live your life, if you dare!