Lent is an amazing time for reflection and quietly contemplating God’s plan for all humanity.  It is also a time for deep introspection of ourselves.  Whether we reflect silently in prayer or reflect corporately in worship, Lent gives us the opportunity to try to understand what God is planning for us.  Through reflection, we can, prayerfully, better understand what God is asking of us.  Of course, we understand that all of this is in God’s gracious hands, not ours.  We understand that how we serve, how we treat others, how we worship won’t get us closer to God.  We understand our place on “the list” won’t change for there is no list to begin with.  It is God alone who determines all this.  And, we already know what this is.  Through the Cross, our salvation is procured.  Through the Cross, our redemption has been achieved.  Through the Cross, our lives have been made complete and holy.  When we reflect on this, Lent shows us a quiet joy; a joy that is complete.

Lent is also a time to appreciate and be filled with joy in the knowledge that God shares with us so many awesome and amazing gifts.  Jesus shares with us in His Sermon on the Mount some truly amazing gifts.  These gifts are called the Beatitudes.  The Beatitudes are eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12). Each is a proverb-like proclamation, without narrative.  Four of the blessings also appear in the Sermon on the Plain in the Gospel of Luke (6:20-26), followed by four woes which mirror the blessings.  Each Beatitude consists of two phrases:  the condition and the result.  In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation. Together, the Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on a spirit of love and humility different in orientation than the usual force and demand taken.  They echo the ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion. These Beatitudes from Matthew follow a simple pattern:  Jesus names a group of people normally thought to be unfortunate and pronounces them blessed. 

During the Season of Lent, we will experience these blessings firsthand.  We will experience them in a different light, a light that may open our own eyes about how blessed we already are.  During the Wednesday evenings in Lent, we will experience the blessings Jesus shares with all of us and all of His children.  We will also experience a wonderful time to reflect and to pray for the innumerable blessings God shares with each of us.  The worship service will focus on prayer and all will have the opportunity to offer prayer concerns by writing down these petitions during the Simple Supper preceding worship. 

May this Season of Lent bring time to quietly talk to God.  May the reflection time deepen our understanding of our faith and bring us peace.  May our confessions and admissions bring serenity to each of us.  Lent is an amazing time for reflection and quietly contemplating God’s blessings and plan for all humanity.  A plan filled with love and forgiveness.


Pastor Bruce