Dear First Pres,
What needs reconciling in your life? What part of your life needs to be made whole? These were the questions that Craig Blodgett presented to us at last night's Ash Wednesday service. Craig did a great job of leading us through a meditation on Colossians 1:19-23 in which Paul speaks of the reconciling work of Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful text to reflect on at the beginning of this year's Lenten season.
Lent is a season of the Christian calendar that starts 46 days before Easter (40 days plus 6 Sundays). It's a time set aside for the Church to do some self-reflection about the status of our hearts before God. It's a time to engage those areas of our lives that need reconciling with God. It's a time to experience new life - the deep, lasting life we find in Christ.
Today is day 2 of Lent. If you haven't taken time to consider Craig's questions, I invite you to take some time to reflect on them. Grab your journal or a piece of paper and spend some time writing your thoughts and reflections. Talk to a trusted friend about your answers. And use this season to seek the Lord on these matters.
One of the ways the Bible describes people who are intentionally seeking the Lord is with the discipline of a fast. Fasting has long been a tradition of the Church, especially during Lent. The practice of fasting helps us to make room in our lives for intentional listening, reflection, and prayer. You can fast from all kinds of things: food, Facebook, television, soda, criticism, bad habits, caffeine, etc. Have you considered a fast for this year's Lent?
This weekend, starting Friday morning at 7 and ending with lunch on Saturday, our youth group students are fasting from food as part of the 30 hour Famine. One of the ways that they will be serving in the midst of their fast is by building Promise Packs for World Vision kids in Swaziland.
I invite you to participate with them in two ways. First, join them in the fast. If you can, abstain from food Friday morning through Saturday lunch. Take the time, especially when you feel hungry, to pray. Pray for Swaziland. Pray for our students. Pray for FPC Fresno. Pray for God to shine His light in and through your life. Second, whether you are fasting or not, come to the Promise Pack build on Saturday. Everyone is welcome to participate. Our goal is to build 400 packs so that we can send them directly to Mahlalini community in Swaziland (see details below).
Church, I hope you will be intentional this Lenten season to pursue God in a fresh way. Find some way to make room in your life to consider these important questions about your actions, attitudes, and words. What needs reconciling in your life? What part of your life needs to be made whole? I'm confident that God will use this to grow something new in you this spring.
P.S. Don't forget to change your clocks on Saturday night.