Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church
Friday, May 24, 2013
Where Everybody Is Somebody and Christ Is Lord!
Past Messages (12/2/13)
A Message from the Pastor as we Approach Lent
The early Christians, on the other hand, observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty-day season of spiritual preparation. During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation in the life of the Church. In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.
We observe this special period, Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, and self-denial; and, by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word and in some instances fasting. It is a time when we are reminded and remind ourselves and one another what we truly must offer to God.
There is a story about Mark McGwire's biggest home run.
In September 1998, slugger Mark McGwire was on his way to breaking the home run record of 61 established by Roger Maris in 1961. There was much speculation about the monetary value of the ball that would eventually become number 62. Some guessed it would bring the lucky fan as much as a million dollars.The much-anticipated blast barely made it over the fence, where it was retrieved by a young man who worked on the grounds crew. During the celebration following the game, the young man approached the slugger and said, "Mr. McGwire, I have something that belongs to you."
The Psalmist said it this way:
the world, and those who live in it;
For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
What Lent is about and what God is looking for is not for us to just give up something but for us to give our self to God. Imagine what a difference it would make to begin each day by saying, "Lord, I have something that belongs to you."