St. Paul's Evangelical
Free Lutheran Church
21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Evangelical - Confessional - Faithful
The Pastor's Thoughts
"Nothing could make the period of Lent so much a reality as to employ it in a systematic effort to fix the mind on Jesus."
"… looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…"
Fixing the mind on Jesus—such an easy thing to say and such a difficult thing to do. And yet Mrs. Stowe was right, nothing would so become our Lenten season as focusing on the Lord who saved us rather than our own devotions that can, maybe, if we're diligent and lucky, help us a bit, but which can never save us at all.
One of the most insidious and dangerous aspects of our sinfulness is the belief that we can make ourselves pleasing to God. I am just as prone to this as anyone else—it's part of the sin that clings to us and hinders us in our lives. We think that if we just read the Bible more, fast more, deny ourselves more, give more or do something more God will surely be pleased with us. It only makes sense, doesn't it?
And yet all of this is a lie we tell ourselves. As we all ought to know, there is nothing we can do that will make us more acceptable to God. Sin, no matter how minor we might think that sin is, keeps us from God.
Only Jesus makes it possible for us to please God. So it is to Jesus we must look every day of our lives. It is Jesus we must count on to make things right. Our attempts at appeasing God are useless.
But thanks be to God, Jesus does all that is needed for us. Jesus atoned for every single one of your sins. They are gone, they have been wiped away, erased from the heavenly books and replaced with this phrase, Jesus took care of this.
As we go through this Lenten season with extra worship services and hymns that can sometimes sound like dirges, don't forget, we are not people who mourn as do those who have no hope. For we have Jesus, and when we look at the Cross we see what He did for us. Lent is an important period in the Church year, but it is only so when we look to Jesus alone.
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