How Can God Be Seen in You?

Read: Isaiah Isaiah 58:1-12, Psalm 103:8-14, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21


Dear Friends,


It’s the beginning of Lent and as always, these dates like Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras), Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter, move around and often take us by surprise. I include the readings for last night’s Ash Wednesday worship and bulletin attached. It was my turn to preach and some of these thoughts are flowing from that message.


Many people wonder and/or struggle with the challenge of Lenten discipline. “What shall I do?” or “How hard should I challenge myself?” And the answer to these questions might be specific to each person as an individual because we are all facing different emotional, relationship and financial challenges in our own lives that are part of the equation when we apply faith. But the important thing to remember and be encouraged by is that it is our faith that helps us through all these other challenges. So, the added challenge of Lent is not designed to be another straw to break your back, but a tool to help you apply and integrate your faith into an already busy life.


Today, I got a ride from the car service depot to the church, while my car is being repaired and the driver whom I’ve gotten to know over the last year asked how things were going. So, I shared about Lent and how it is like spiritual boot camp for Christian athletes and warriors. In our conversation, he shared how he was raised in the church and we compared notes and stories. As always, these passing conversations, if aired sensitively, can be a source of encouragement to other people, as I hope this one was.


The sermon from last night was about keeping it real. Jesus said to store up treasure in heaven, not on earth where moth and rust can rot, or thieves can break in and steal. Keeping it real is not only about getting right with God in prayer and bible study, but also in passing on the love and compassion to our suffering neighbor just as Jesus has done to us.


What is essential is that we cannot do the practical acts of love and compassion without first meeting God privately in the quiet place where He can minister to us. This is why Jesus encourages us to pray in private, study God’s word in secret, not so that it should be hidden from others, but so that we cannot boast about our resulting holiness. For, the more you meet with God, the more other people will see something of God and God’s kingdom values in you.


Pastor Cliff