The 40 days of Lent are loosely built on the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness. He was tempted by Satan on our behalf, and he resisted those temptations on our behalf. For those of you who were able to attend last week’s Ash Wednesday service, it was a time of reflection and renewal. The ashes on our foreheads were a reminder of our mortality, our frailty, and our savior’s love for us.
Jesus’ three temptations, at their core, are similar to the ones that we are tempted with: God doesn’t care about you, sell your soul for glory, and demand that God works on your own terms. We hear those in our hearts subtly: a longing for control or clinging to something for meaning. We bargain with God for his favor or we go against him for pleasure or power. All of those are a version of the very original lie in the Garden to take God’s place as our own lord. To worship creation (including ourselves) instead of our creator.
Use these days during Lent to dig deep into your heart to find those subtle lies and confront them with the deeper truth that God loves you. He gives you his glory. He erases your guilt. He clothed you with meaning. He gave his life for you. In Jesus you are righteous.
We will provide Thursday Night Open Prayer: During this season of Lent, we will open the sanctuary for prayers on Thursdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Let this poem by Marie Howe stir you to find time to rest in God’s presence.
by Marie Howe
Every day I want to speak with you. And every day something more important calls for my attention—the drugstore, the beauty products, the luggage I need to buy for the trip. Even now I can hardly sit here among the falling piles of paper and clothing, the garbage trucks outside already screeching and banging. The mystics say you are as close as my own breath. Why do I flee from you? My days and nights pour through me like complaints and become a story I forgot to tell. Help me. Even as I write these words I am planning to rise from the chair as soon as I finish this sentence.
New at RWS
If you’re new at Redeemer West Side, this is the place to get to know us and learn how to take the next step. We’ll talk about our vision, values, and history, and introduce you to our various ministries so you know how to get better connected. It’s also a great opportunity to meet some of our staff, lay leaders, and others new to the church. Lunch will be served.