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These 40 Days: Week 1

According to the church calendar, we’ve entered the Lenten season. As Nazarenes, we haven’t always recognized Lent. But it is an important time on the church calendar.

Just as the Advent season prepares us for Christmas and the coming of Jesus into our world, so Lent prepares us for Easter and Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s a time of reflection, a time of giving up something to remind us of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Pastor Derek preached from the Beatitudes on Sunday morning. Not really a Lenten text, but it helped me remember that what Jesus accomplished on the cross is both a present reality and a future coming. We are already a part of the kingdom of God, and we are preparing for the kingdom of God to come into our world.

During this season of Lent, let me challenge you to allow God to search your heart. Fasting is a type of sacrifice and helps us get our vision off what we may think is important in our lives and to focus on what God thinks is important. Giving up something helps to open us to God touching places in our lives where we need to draw closer to him or become more like Jesus.

It’s kind of fitting, isn’t it, that Easter comes in the Spring of the year? There’s new life everywhere! I’ve already seen daffodils beginning to bloom in whites and yellows. Even the bluebonnets are growing their greenery in preparation of bursts of blue.

But the beginnings of all that new life happens beneath the soil where we cannot see. Seeds germinate and begin to grow. Bulbs begin to rejuvenate and pull in nutrients through tiny roots. Life that begins in the darkness of the soil gains strength to push through the soil and burst into the warm sunlight.

That’s Lent. It is a time of quiet reflection, of germination, of rejuvenation, that leads us to a deeper understanding of what Jesus did for us on the cross.  During this Lenten season, allow God to guide your spiritual growth.

May this week be one of living in the present reality of the kingdom of God and the anticipation of heaven coming to earth!

Pastor Jerry

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