Posts Tagged "Ash Wednesday"

Sermon Ash Wednesday February 18

Posted by on Feb 19, 2015 in Sunday Message KB | Comments Off on Sermon Ash Wednesday February 18

Faith United Methodist Church February 18, 2015 Ash Wednesday Rev. Krista-Beth Atwood Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Prayer for Illumination:                                                                       We turn to you, O God of life, on this first day of Lent as we recall our own mortality. Ready us to receive your mercy and grace, and cleanse us of our human failing, that we may embrace the words you speak ~ the words that lead to eternal life. Amen. Sermon:  Truth Telling   How many of you here this evening have lost a loved one to death? A mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a spouse, a child, a friend. Loss is a universal human experience. Few ~ if any, ~ of us get through life without some kind of loss. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. And when you lose a loved one, death inevitably feels closer. It’s harder to hold death at arms length. As you surely know, when you watch a beloved person pass from this life to the next the precariousness and preciousness of life is unavoidable. Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. And it is with this dust and ashes in mind that we hear Paul share the word of God in his Second Letter to the Corinthians. “At an acceptable time I have listened to you, and on a day of salvation I have helped you.” I don’t know about you, but without a sense of urgency I too often I find it easy to put things off, to let things go, to think I will have another opportunity later. Yet Paul affirms, “See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation.” Paul reminds us that there is no ‘later.’ There is only now. So, he encourages his readers, be reconciled to God. What are you waiting for? Make your confessions. Receive God’s grace! And part of receiving God’s grace is telling the truth ~ not just to each other, but to ourselves and to God. Even as Paul experienced hardships and sleepless nights, problems and disasters, he affirmed that he served “….with the Holy Spirit, genuine love, telling the truth” (as one translation puts it.) In terms of our Lenten Journey, if we waited for what we thought was an acceptable time ~ if we waited until all our problems and hardships and sleepless nights went away ~ we would probably never begin. As my seminary professor Glenn Miller put it, “Reconciliation is too important to wait for all the theological details.” On this Ash Wednesday we are reminded that we need the grace and forgiveness of God, and we need it now. Life is short. It sounds trite to say it, but it is true. We are dust and to dust we shall return. So what better time to tell the truth about ourselves, to look ourselves in the eye and consider what keeps us from loving God more fully. Now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation. The Rev. Steve Garnass-Holmes describes Lent as, “…a time to become more mindful, to see ourselves more clearly and to realign ourselves with God’s love.”...

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