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Lent is a wonderful opportunity for growth and maturity. When you face mortality you get serious about how you’re living your life. We want this life to matter.
Publish Date: Feb 09, 2021
Lent is a wonderful opportunity for growth and maturity. When you face mortality you get serious about how you’re living your life. We want this life to matter. Lent is a gift from God to all of us. Ashes remind us of our mortality, weakness, frailty, and sinful nature.
we begin by saying, from the very beginning the length is a gift from God. Lent is a gift from God to all of us. And so I ask you to enter Lent not as a time off drudgery or a time off morning or a sad time, but actually a wonderful opportunity for growth, for maturity and for rededicating ourselves to walking with the Lord. First of all, I'll tell you the length Issa season off 40 days, not counting Sundays. Sunday's continued to be the days of the Lord in which we celebrate him. Yes, there are some things we change during Sunday's to make sure that we don't forget that we are in land. But when we look at length, we're looking at 40 days without counting Sunday's. However, that's on Lee. A calendar count lent ISS much more important than 40 calendar days. Length is a time of 40 days that calls all of us who truly and honestly believe in the Lord to a time of submission to God, a time of confronting the possibility of the many gods that we have. Maybe we don't bow to them. Maybe we don't pray to them, but Many of us at times have many things that take the place of God in our lives were too busy with the things off life to give God the time of day. We're too tired to pray in the morning. We're too busy in order to pray at night. There are so many things in our lives that we set in priority to our God. And so it's 40 days that call us to submit ourselves to the one God to the worship of the one God into the priority off the one God in our lives. 40 days of submission. It is also 40 days off journey with Jesus. Every Sunday we're going to be reading the Gospel and moving with Jesus from the Mount of Transfiguration, which we celebrated last Sunday to Jerusalem to the cross. Every Sunday I'm going to move you. Ah, little bit closer in Jesus's journey toward the cross. It is 40 days off, dying with Jesus so that we may be raised with him. It is 40 days off, dying to self in some ways that we may be resurrected to the life that we were intended to live on the first place to me lent this kind of a call to return to the Garden of Eden are called to return to a time when we had nothing to hide from God. A time to return to a time when we commune with God with such freedom that we hid nothing. We said it all. We look to him. We hoped in him a time off. Peace a time off. Hope a time off. Fellowship a time off harmony and lend calls us to return to catch those areas of our lives where we are still not walking with God and submit him to him On Tuesday evenings, there's a group of us that are reading and studying the book of Ecclesiastes and Asai was preparing for the sermon today. I was reminded of a particular passage of Ecclesiastes and I won't have time to explain the fullness of it. But I will give you an idea. I'm looking at Chapter seven, verse one in several verses one through seven. The writer of Ecclesiastes that we know us co hell, it the preacher or the teacher says this Ah, good name is better than precious ointment or a good reputation is better than precious ointment and the day off death better than the day of one's birth. Better to go to the house off morning than to go to the house off. Feasting, for that is the end of all men, and the living will take it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for by Assad countenance the hardest made better. The heart of the wise is in the house off morning, but the heart off fools is in the house off mirth. It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song off fools for like the crackling of thorns under apart. So is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity. Surely oppression destroys a Wiseman's reason, and a bribe debases the heart. Those are just a few verses, and some of them may shock you a little bit, but you need to understand that co hell, it iss speaking from a point of view where he sees all the pursuits off men in life and how many pursuits lead to nothing, which he calls meaningless or vanity. He reviews for us every kind off pursuit, every kind off passion every kind of thing that somehow take the place of God in our lives. And he says all is vanity. And the reason he says that the house off morning or a funeral is better than the house off. Partying is because when you face mortality, you get really serious about how you're living your life when you face your mortality when you face death, when you see your friends dying, when you see people that you love dying, all of a sudden you realize that life has an end and that we want this like to count, and we want this life to matter and so forth. Co hell, it it It's more important that we be sobering life and not miss living to the glory of God than be parting, celebrating and not paying attention. How we live and lent. In a way, it's a call for all of us to consider the seriousness off our walk with God. Today we begin with the humbling image off humility, which is the ashes that will be applied to our foreheads, asked us today so that we may receive on Easter morning the glory of the resurrected life ashes remind us of our mortality. Ashes remind us of our weakness. Ashes remind us off our frailty Ashes remind us off our sinful nature. And we are marked with the ashes. And when we see the ashes in the face off, our brother or sister reflected right back to us. We recognize that we are sinners and that we are weak and that we need God. When you see and look at the face of one of your brothers or sisters tonight and you see in his face the mark of the ashes, you will be reminded of your own marking and of your own need of God and your own mortality. They'll reflect it right back to us. Us. We will reflect it right back to them ashes. When we look at each other tonight, we will see our dust. Nature reflected toe one another. Our mortality is an inescapable truth, no matter how fast or how far we want to run from it. But it is also a reminder