March 2016 Newsletter
March 1, 2016, 10:03 AM

Grace and peace y’all! It’s March and we are in the thick of Lent as we journey together towards the cross and resurrection.

Many of us have given things up and have taken devotional practices on. Some of us have held to those promises very well, some of us have fallen to temptation, and some might have bitten off more than we could chew when it comes to our Lenten fasts. No matter where you fall within that range – know this – God loves you, Christ is with you, and the Spirit is guiding you. No matter what – it all ends at the cross and the empty tomb. And that my friends – my sisters and brothers – is the grace and love of God!

One of my favorite ways to see God at work in our lives is in the midst of those places that we wouldn’t expect. Whether it be a book, a song, a painting, a movie, or more. The gospel can be ‘gleaned’ from so many different places. It doesn’t have to be strictly limited to things that happen within the church or with only those places that are ‘religious’ in nature. God is present in them all.

In fact, sometimes, it is easier for those to see and experience God first in those places. Where they can see that God is present in the things that they enjoy and love. It isn’t that we throw away a lot of the things that we enjoy in order to be loved by God, but that God comes to be with us in so many things and ways.

One of my favorite movies that covers this (if only briefly) is the movie Bruce Almighty with Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman (not to mention the early film appearance of Steve Carrell). There is one particular moment where Jim Carrey’s character Bruce is pleading to God to show him a sign – any sign – that God is present. Naturally Bruce drives past a truck full of ‘signs’ – stop signs, yield, turn around, etc… The signs were there, Bruce didn’t notice because he didn’t expect God to show up in the ‘ordinary’ or the things and places we take for granted.

I think that is one of the most important and yet, most difficult things to practice during Lent – seeing and knowing that God is present within the ‘ordinary’ of our lives. That we take for granted the things we see and we don’t expect God to show up there. We don’t expect God to show up in our lives in places that aren’t worship because we don’t think we’re worthy enough, good enough, smart enough, pious enough, or ‘anything enough’ for God to be present in our lives.

Yet, during Lent we are in the midst of the wilderness and the presence of God. Lent isn’t an avenue for us to somehow ‘call’ or ‘invoke’ God into our life. Instead, Lent is that time where we remember that God is indeed present here. That God is so present in our life – in the ‘ordinary’ – that we are able to be closer to God within our fasting, giving, and prayer because God is right here! We are able to do this because God is here – not that we do this so that God will come.

We remember during Lent and throughout each day of our lives that God is indeed present here among us. That gospel is and can be told through ways that we wouldn’t expect – a movie, a song, a book that might not have anything religious or sacred at first glance. But, we remember that Christ is there. That God is among us. That the Spirit is indeed guiding us.

We remember this throughout these last few weeks of Lent as we journey together towards the cross and the empty tomb! Thanks be to God!

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