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DFLC Sermon - Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024 - Pastor Marie Meeks

I saw a cardinal last night, and heard birds singing outside my house this morning. Spring is coming! Even Ash Wednesday is a harbinger of spring. We know that each week of Lent brings us closer to spring, and even if we have snow on Easter Sunday, spring is coming. We can’t stop the changing seasons. The Earth turns. It circles the sun, and change comes.

 

Lent is about making changes in our lives – changes that allow room for contemplation. We simplify our lives, making room for the Holy Spirit to remind us that we have wandered away from Jesus. Our lives do not reflect what Jesus would have us do. Today, we heard Jesus talk about three spiritual practices that help grow our relationship with God. Jesus reminds us that spiritual practice is not for the purposes of looking good. That does nothing for our relationship with God. Instead, we’re to be so focused on God that our right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing.

 

And notice Jesus doesn’t say “if” you do these things but “when.” These practices aren’t rules, but Jesus assumes we will make use of them, or something else we find that brings us closer to God. Communicating is an essential part of any relationship; make time for prayer and meditation. Giving generously of our time and money to those in need teaches our hearts and spirits that it is God who gives our life meaning. Fasting from food, electronics, spending sprees, or other pleasurable activity can highlight for us how much our lives are filled with things which aren’t important. And there are many other practices we can use to get us closer to what God wants for us.

 

Let us pray:  Loving God, walk with us as we begin our Lenten journey to the cross. Help us trust you!  Open our hearts, that we might let go of the things which keep us bound. Continually remind us that we belong to you! Bring us through the pain of Good Friday so that we might experience the joy of Resurrection. Amen.

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