Mar 2
We are well into the Lenten season and I am praying God’s grace to all. Lent is the Church’s time of preparation for the celebration of the “Resurrection of Jesus the Christ” which is accompanied by a sense of new life in the air. Woefully, however, this year’s celebration, for many, will be experienced under clouds of distress and some measure of hopelessness. That is, the problems and tragedies of the world threatens to overwhelm, thus rendering feelings of helplessness and deadened Spirits. But we, who are “Easter People”, should never underestimate that a “Spirit of Brokenness” is precisely the condition that attracts the attention of God to bless us with a “Hope Against All Hope”.
Perhaps grief, loss, anxiety, financial troubles, hatred, resentment, or a lack of faith has put a few of us in a tomb of despair. Or maybe, someone has been fired… incarcerated… diagnosed… abandoned … depressed… discriminated against… experiencing conflict in relationships… or just plain unhappy and feeling empty. Even so, is this cause to question “Why isn’t God breathing fresh air into our lives today?” It might help to recall that a long time ago, in a far-off land, Jesus stood outside a tomb and called, “Lazarus, come out!” Furthermore, believing that God is still speaking, right now, right here, God calls the hopeless to new life out from tombs of despair, denial, and death.
Remember, always, God is a God of resurrecting power that breathes new life into the lifeless. God makes dry bones live. God’s spirit has the power of infusion, to bring people together. It follows that we may possibly understand Resurrection, not only about what happens when we die, but also about what happens now when life feels over. Through hopelessness, God’s spirit breathes new life into us but only as we open to transformation. Therefore, a timelier question for us then, “in what ways are we participating in what God is doing, today, in our midst, to experience the newness that God brings in the face of death?
Lent therefore offers an opportunity to look inward toward conscience and outward to the human suffering that makes life a living hell for some people. During this time, we have a chance to facilitate liberation, not only of ourselves, but of others as well in an “unbinding” and “letting go” of the people, places and conditions that put so many in places of death and prevents the world from moving forward. Liberation, of course, starts with desire, is impelled with intent and moves through prayer to bring healing, peace, and reconciliation wherever we go beginning with ourselves. In this, be further encouraged by these words of Jeremiah (29:12-14) …
12 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. 13 “When you come looking for me, you’ll find me… 14 declares God, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from … all the places where I have driven you, … and I will bring you back …
See, in this way, the Holy Spirit empowers us to do God’s work regardless of our gender, age, or social position out of a Lent that is “Hopeful Against All Hope”.
Your Sister in the Struggle …. Revered Gale Jones, Executive Pastor

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