This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of the six weeks leading up to Easter Sunday. As a congregation we don’t have any Ash Wednesday service and don’t “officially” recognize Lent. However, every year I make the same recommendation. This is a good time to recognize the spiritual discipline of giving something up for a time. We often call it fasting, but simply giving up something that we enjoy for a period of time can turn our thoughts toward Christ’s sacrifice in this time. The second thing I recommend is to add a spiritual discipline. Perhaps to is being more conscientious in our prayer life, or being more consistent in our Bible reading. Maybe it would be looking for a way to do good to other people during this season. Whatever we choose to do, like any spiritual discipline, we are simply making room for God’s Holy Spirit to be active in our life.
A few of you asked me what I thought about the Asbury Revival taking place in Kentucky. You may have seen reports of this in various media. I have some friends from near Asbury who have gone and given reports. These are people who are trustworthy and experienced in ministry, so I respect and believe what they have to say. To a person they have reported that it a remarkable experience. They report that it’s not flashy or “over-the-top.” Instead it is a sense of God’s presence and God’s movement that is being felt there. There are some reports of this moving to other college campuses. I don’t want to say too much because I haven’t experienced this first hand, and so to an extent it’s not my experience to tell about. What I will say is that I believe that it would be good for all of us to be brought closer to God and to experience his presence. It would give me great hope to see a movement—particularly among young people—that would bring others to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Personally, I will continue to pray that God’s will is done here on earth as it is in heaven, and I will trust that God is able to do things beyond our categories and comprehension. I will continue to be hopeful that God’s Kingdom will prevail, even as he has promised.
Remember that we’ll be having our potluck this coming Sunday. I hope you make plans to attend!
God bless, Brian
Scripture readings for next Sunday
Mark 9:1-29—What do you notice about the disciples’ expectations here?
Mark 9:30-50—How do you see Jesus’ teaching here connecting with the actions in the first half of the chapter?
Malachi 4—Why do you think Malachi ends his book with the promise of Elijah’s return?
2 Peter 1:12-21—What significance does Peter attach to his memory of this event?