The Lenten Journey Begins
We are now entering the Season of Lent which is the forty-day period leading up to Easter (not including Sundays). Easter falls on April 17 this year. Lent is an intentional time of spiritual growth, a time of soul searching, a time of introspection – looking within our own hearts. Lent reminds us of the time that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for 40 days and overcame temptation. Many will give something up for Lent, others will take something on.
We would all admit that as human beings, we are very good at identifying what is wrong with other people. But I would encourage you to spend time reflecting on Jesus’ timeless question in the Sermon on the Mount: “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye but fail to recognize the log in your own eye? First, remove the log from your own eye and then you can see clearly the speck in your neighbor’s eye.” I think Lent is a good time for us to take a long look in the mirror. We should identify one or two things that we need to work on in our own lives between now and Easter and then work on it, focus on it. Maybe it’s anger; maybe it’s worry; maybe it’s stress; maybe its eating too much or drinking too much; maybe it’s our marriage; maybe it’s a need to spend more quality time with our children; maybe it’s being too judgmental; maybe it’s being overly addicted to technology or social media; maybe it’s setting aside more quiet time for prayer and reflection. Every single one of us has something that we can work on during Lent and I think we should identify it and then do our best to work on it.
Lent is also a time for us to focus on Christ – who he is in our lives, what he taught, how he lived, and how he died. He was loving, compassionate, humble, spiritual, courageous, prayerful, forgiving, and willing to heal. The formal study of Jesus’ nature and character is known as “Christology,” and there are many different Christologies present in our culture. Hans Kung once said that “There are so many different Christs – the Christs of piety and secularity, of ancient dogma and modern ideology, of dominant culture and counter culture, of political reaction and social revolution, of classical and popular literature, of religious art and kitsch – and the question, “Which Christ is the True Christ?” becomes unavoidable and urgent. (Kung, On Being Christian). We must all wrestle with Jesus’ identity in our own lives.
Here at Woodmont, we are offering dinners on Wednesday nights at 5:30 and some excellent opportunities for spiritual growth. Please take advantage of these classes at 6:15:
THE DAY THE REVOLUTION BEGAN – Led by Rev. Jay Hutchens, our Minister of Small Groups and Discipleship. This will be an exploration of NT Wright’s provocative book and ask the question, “Why did Jesus have to be crucified?”
THE BASICS OF FAITH – led by Dr. Roy Stauffer. Roy will explore the fundamentals of faith including God, Jesus, Prayer, the Bible, the Church, and Life After Death.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH FOR AN UNHEALTHY WORLD – Led by Dr. Ben Curtis and other therapists. This class will explore the trauma & stress of the pandemic and how we can cope and recover in healthy ways.
All of these classes will be excellent. I hope you will use the Lenten season as a time to grow in your faith and spiritual life.
February 20, 2024
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