Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent and Spring

This will be a winter to remember. The amount of snow we have received, not warmly, set a new record. The old record was set back in 1978. I am sure most of us remember that winter. I was living in Chicago, not far from Wrigley Field. The city was at a standstill for a couple of days. The amount of cold weather has taken its toll as well. No longer do I love the snow and winter, which I always thought I would.

Some folks have reported that Robins have been sighted. I hope they were mistaken because the poor Robins need a fresh supply of bugs and worms and I’m pretty sure they are still frozen. I need spring to come. My mind needs spring to come, and so does my spirit. Even a few days with the temperatures in the 40’s would be a blessing. Even as I sit at the keyboard it is cold and I am thinking of spring and flowers and the smell of fresh cut grass. Yea, in three months I will probably be complaining about the heat.

Let us begin our thoughts of spring by first thinking about the days that WILL lead up to nice weather. West Adrian Community Church is going to take part in a series of Lenten Services.  We will join four other churches for a service each Wednesday during Lent. The services will begin with a pot-luck, yea food, with the worship service to follow. The Lenten services have been a blessing and great opportunity to get together with other like-minded people.

I fear that Lenten services as well as Ash Wednesday services itself are on the endangered list. It is becoming more difficult to keep people interested and it is rare to have new people attend. There are probably many reasons and more excuses for people to ignore this season. I guess we need to ask ourselves a very simple question. What does Lent mean to me? Some of us grew up with friends that observed Lent by giving up meat on Fridays. The family next door was very devout and giving up something for Lent was mandatory.

It was not that way for me growing up. I knew Lent was a sacred time for some but not all Christians observed it. Our family seemed to center on the days that led up to Easter. My parents observed Good Friday, the old fashioned way. We were not allowed to play or go outside from noon until three on Good Friday. My mother played Tennessee Ernie Ford albums on the record player and the house was quiet. I can still hear his voice singing, The Old Rugged Cross and Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.

This season of Lent I would like to suggest that each of us consider, Giving Up, something. Not in any material way, like meat or soda, that kind of stuff. How about something that would be a real blessing and be very helpful. How about, we give up negativity, complaining, harboring grudges and the stuff that snuffs out the joy in our life.

From now until Easter let us each think and act only in positive ways. First towards those we love and hold close, our family and dear friends. The scripture tell us to think and act in positive ways and think only the best. We should act and think this way even towards those we have a brief exchange with. I confess that there are some places I do not step foot in. For the simple reason, that I would go nuts and turn into some type of monster. I detest Wal+++t and Me==s because the first time I got hit with a cart I would lose it and end up incarcerated. I will need to go shopping and pray the Lord helps me during Lent.

Spring will arrive. The flowers will sense the warming of the earth and push up through the dirt. The grass will grow and the Robins will find all of the food they need. God gives us the seasons to show His faithfulness.

I just hope He hurries up and lets Spring begin.

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