We've talked about taking up some things for Lent instead of "giving something up for Lent." (See previous post.)
So it's a paradox to realize that when we say: "Don't Give up!" we are talking about faithfulness.
So if you do give something up for Lent, you don't give up on God! Don’t give up on our heavenly Father! Don’t give up on Jesus! Don’t give up on the Holy Spirit!
So if you do give something up for Lent, you don't give up on God!
Don’t give up on our heavenly Father! Don’t give up on Jesus! Don’t give up on the Holy Spirit!
However you best understand God, to be faithful is simply “not giving up.”
This means that you trust that God is there, listening and acting in your best interest.
This means that you are willing to be “in the dark” about where it’s all going.
This means that you are able to patiently wait for the outcome even when you are in pain, anxiety and/or confusion.
Don’t give up on God!
For at it’s core, faith is trust.
And when we say that we trust Christ for our salvation, we are simply saying that we trust that
the love of God in Christ is true,
…that his death and resurrection on the cross happened,
…and that it’s purpose was to help me go where I can’t go by myself,
into a loving relationship with our creator.
And when times get tough, our lives filled with uncertainty and fear, our abilities limited by medical realities, and our hope dims… we resist the temptation to give up on God. Instead we are faithful.
As Lent deepens around us, like a spiritual blanket to keep us warm when the cold winds of the world swirl around us, let us be faithful, let us not give up on God.
As we let Christ move closer and closer to us, to our hearts and to the places of pain and struggle we all carry, let us be faithful, let us not give up on God.
As we embrace each other as brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, in the community of love sometimes known as the church, let us be faithful, let us not give up on God.
Let us trust Jesus Christ, as an alive and living Holy Spirit in us and in those around us, and so, let us be faithful.
Have you been able to live closer to God this week?
Don't give up. God is reaching out to you.
How goes it with your soul?
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Terry - we will be very happy to welcome you to our congregation. My husband Hans and I have connected with CAL-PAC renewal and Lifewatch and have volunteered for some committees. But I must admit we are struggling with remaining in the Methodist church. Our hearts have been heavy lately and the choice of staying within the church and trying to help the conservative voice be heard - or just leaving and finding a congregation with a different voice has been a struggle. We are still undecided. Hans is on Emmaus team this weekend I will be on team next. We ask for prayer on our decision and perhaps if you have some counsel.
Posted by: Karen Wurfel | April 17, 2009 at 11:58 AM
You have been in my prayers all week.
We all have trouble with waiting patiently. We're trained to look for immediate results.
Do you have some spiritual disciplines ("holy habits") that help you wait? ...times of quiet prayer, listening prayer? Do you use the Labyrinth at LUMC? Do you read the bible just to follow the story and not in a "study" way?
Are you in a small group of faithful Christians who can pray for you and your patience? Are you involved in a ministry that reaches out and helps others know God's love in a personal way?
All these are ways that many people have found a strength and power that enables them to "wait patiently" for discernment and direction in God's will.
You and your whole family is in my prayers.
Posted by: Pastor Terry | March 14, 2009 at 07:09 AM
Well this message happened to be timed exactly during a waiting period for my husband and I with some struggles and treatment with secondary infertility (we have one beautiful four year old son). I seem to need reminders that I sometimes I will be "in the dark" about where this is all going and that while I may not know-- He does-- and He is acting in my best interest.
This part especially:
'This means that you are able to patiently wait for the outcome even when you are in pain, anxiety and/or confusion.
Don’t give up on God!'
Patiently waiting (or in my case, not so patiently sometimes...)
Posted by: Kether | March 11, 2009 at 05:39 PM
Thanks for your note. I'm glad it was a blessing for you.
Were there any specific ways it was helpful?
I'm interested in how a blog like this can be widely circulated so any suggestions as to content, style or ideas to pass it around are welcomed!
Grace and Peace,
Posted by: Pastor Terry Van Hook | March 11, 2009 at 12:46 PM
This message hit home for me this week. Thank you!
I'm a member of Lancaster United Methodist Church and I'm really excited about having a blogging pastor!
Posted by: Kether | March 10, 2009 at 10:29 AM