Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Ash Wednesday!

Today was an exciting day in my house.  When my two year old son woke up this morning he was ready to tell us, “It’s Valentine’s Day!”  He was going to be celebrating at daycare, and my wife was going to take him to a celebration at the school she works at.  The previous evening we had spent time getting all his Valentines together, and today was a day of excitement, energy, and lots of candy… What is better than that?

However, the question came up about what I would be doing this Valentine’s Day.  It was a good question, because I would not be around much.  I was celebrating Ash Wednesday at the church. (Normally, my whole family attends these events, but the services took place after he had gone to bed…) Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season, and I’ve discovered it is much harder to explain than Valentine’s Day!  In some ways, it seems like Valentine’s and Ash Wednesday are two totally different events that shouldn’t really collide.  Pink hearts don’t mix with ashes do they? 
However, the more I thought about it, Ash Wednesday is really about Love.  It is a day that marks the beginning of Christ’s journey to the cross for us.  In fact, I think this is the perfect day to remember how deeply we are loved.  We remember that God came to this world to die for us.  If we really believe in that kind of love, then we should share it with all the people around us.

I hope in this Lenten season we are not swallowed by despair… Instead, I hope you remember this is season all about Love.  We didn’t do anything to deserve it, but God gave everything for us.  I hope you can also take a little time to show your love to others!



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Love the Lord

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
-Deuteronomy 6:5

What does it mean to love…?

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to speak to woman suffering from a very aggressive form of cancer.  Looking at her, I could see so many things that she could have been upset about.  I certainly would not blame her if she felt angry or resentful in her current condition.  However, when I walked into her home, I was met with a smile.  This woman was grateful for the communion I brought to her and the time to worship and pray.  She had love, and she offered love… and that was all she needed to have joy.  The only question she had related to why so many healthy people in this world seemed so distressed.  Sometimes, when we are surrounded by blessings, it is easy to forget what really matters.

I hope we can take a little time today to count our blessings.  Opening our eyes to God’s Love reminds us of what truly matters.  We are loved, and we can love.  Knowing this and offering what we have is the definition of a fulfilled life…