Creator God, awesome and mighty, You burst forth in the morning, holding nothing back. You make a grand entrance, announcing Your presence. Oh Lord, there You are. But how, oh Lord, can anyone possibly say this isn’t from You? How could they even think such things? I am perplexed by that thought. For there is nothing random here. Only Your masterful hand lovely painting every stroke of color; each one planned and purposefully presented that all glory may be Yours. Every hue. Every ray of light. Every beautiful detail. Everything! – emanates from You. Oh Lord my God, You blessed me this morning with this beautiful tapestry; for to see it was a pathway to Your glory – knowing that something even greater than this awaits me because of Jesus. Oh God, I am in awe. Wow! Thank You for this morning artwork, but even more than that, thank You for this path to remember Your grace through Jesus Christ. I can hardly wait to see what awaits me. To You be all glory, honor, praise and worship, through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
a little lighthearted fun as we begin this season of Lent; a season for reflection and remembering that we came from dust, and because of our sin, to dust we shall return.
This season is also a very somber time as we reflect on our mortality but we can’t forget the celebration at the end because of Jesus. And therefore, in the midst of taking ourselves very seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously. Remember that you are a sinful, mortal human being under the curse of death. That is serious and undeniable. But through the cross of Jesus, you are redeemed and thus, through faith in him, the curse is lifted on that Last Day. That is also serious and undeniable AND “fun” let’s say.
[Leave it to me to put a not-so-serious spin on Ash Wednesday and Lent]
So with that seriousness, let’s move to some fun stuff:
This is me burning palm branches saved from last year’s Palm Sunday worship service. Seems normal, but what you can’t feel is that I am standing outside in a -30 degree wind chill that is chilling me right down to the bone. I guess one can add this to the list of crazy things that only Minnesotans (and other crazy upper Midwesterners] do. But when you live in this part of the country/world you have to make do.
So the ashes are made.
Worship is planned.
The sermon is set.
And I am ready to get my ash on as I dive head-long into Lent.
A serious season in preparation for a “fun” event.
May God be praised and glorified. May you be humbled with the serious fact that you are a sinner. May you be lifted up through the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus.
I live in Minnesota…and I love it. I love (almost) everything about living here. I love the changes in seasons; the variety of weather; the many lakes to enjoy; the people; and the list could go on. But one the of the few things I do not like about Minnesota is the ICE.
On Saturday around 1pm-ish it started to precipitate a little so I decided to go for a quick run. When my eye lids started sticking closed I decided it was time to cut things short. By the time I finished my 25 minute run my front side was covered in ice. What a weird feeling. Of course…the ice outside stuck around until the next day (Sunday and a little today still) making my drive out to Belmont and back an adventure. I am not sure how many of you out there have driven on a sheet of ice before but let me say this…”IT IS NOT FUN.” Stopping was a luxury that forced me to think ahead (way ahead). I did make it out to Belmont and back without an incident…and I have yet to hear of any in the last couple days (Praise God). But with the good you have to take the bad I guess.
There’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere…right?
(1) Going through life we need to watch our step; we could slip and fall at any moment.
(2) Christ gives us life, but we still need to deal with sin (The good and the bad).
(3) Sin may be fun, but it’s slippery slope will hurt you and others.
I may be reaching…but leave it to a pastor to look for sermon illustrations in nearly everything. Stay tuned, though, I have another sermon illustration coming up shortly; something that happened this morning.