Addition After Subtraction

Ecclesiastes 3: 1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

5 a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Luke 10: 8-12 (Jesus said) "When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, 'God's kingdom is right on your doorstep!' "When you enter a town and are not received, go out in the street and say, 'The only thing we got from you is the dirt on our feet, and we're giving it back. Did you have any idea that God's kingdom was right on your doorstep?'

Dear Beloved Friends,

Greetings in the name of Christ our Lord.

It is that Time of year once again, the season of Lent; the 40 days and nights (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter when we are invited to take an in-depth look at ourselves and seek for ways to grow in our walk of discipleship.

For many people, it is a period of time to abstain or give up something near and dear to them. Perhaps chocolate or soda (pop for us Midwesterners) or meat or television or cussing or whatever you enjoy. The hope is by abstaining from the one thing, you will grow in your discipline and discipleship walk.

Here's a suggestion for us all. Instead of simply giving up something, add another thing in its place; how about giving up something beyond your body and look for an attribute to increase your spiritual or mental well-being.

Above, Jesus instructed his disciples to let go of any negativity or personal attacks other people levied against them. Jesus desired for them to not personalize any of the things said about them on account of their faith in God and trust in God's presence "at the doorstep." Brush it off.

Let's try that for 40 days. Let's brush off the gossip, the judgement, the naysayers and negative prognosticators in our lives. Let's dust off the cruel words spoken, the false rumors whispered or the mean-spirited gestures made against us simply because of who you are.

If anything Lent reminds us life is short, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," put things into perspective. Tomorrow is not guaranteed but today has already been delivered - so live in today.

Yes, for Lent release all which seeks to keep you stuck in yesterday and embrace all which leads us into the hope of a new tomorrow. For Lent, let's share more love, joy, hope, grace, mercy, kindness, thankfulness, peace; add these fruits of the Spirit and watch how you grow in your walk of discipleship.

Dust off the despair; Put on the hope of God through Jesus.

Love, Pastor G

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