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Words from the Pastor

posted Apr 10, 2011, 2:00 PM by Dustin Skare
In Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism, Kimberly Hahn recalls Ash Wednesday, having dropped her children off at her sister's house, asking God "What should I give up for Lent?"

What if we turned Kimberly's question into our own?  What areas of your life would you cut out or cut back on?  Would you go out less to restaurants or at least not as much (minus one fish fry).  Would you give us swearing or biting your nails?  Would you give up texting or the internet?  Would you give up chocolate or another mouth watering dessert?  Do you cut out needless hours of television?  Do you go to bed earlier?  Do you give up following the Sabres (in order to follow the Flyers)?  What would you give up for Lent?

We may struggle to give up some or all of the items listed above.  Some of the things included on this list would be "major sacrifices" as Kimberly put it.  But what is your answer?  What are you going to give up this Lenten season?

One of my favorite stories from the Bible comes from 2 Samuel 24: 18-25.  King David is going to purchase Araunah's granary, so that he can build an altar to the Lord, in the hopes that the plagues on the people cease. According to the story, Araunah wants to give David the oxen and the other ingredients to offer a burnt sacrifice.  However, David replies, "No, I insist on paying you for it.  I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing."

What should I give up for Lent?  I cannot answer that question for you.  However, whatever it is, make sure that it costs you something.  Whatever your sacrifice it must draw you closer to the Lord.

Read part of Kimberly's story:
And I really sensed the Lord say, "Kimberly, why don't you give up?
"What, give up what?"
He (God) said, "Why don't you give up yourself?
...Why don't you give up your this Lent."  (p. 157)

The words of the Savior, are beautiful but hauntingly true.  If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."  May this Lenten season be one where we give up more than a guilty pleasure or habitual sins.  May we give what costs us something - our very lives.

Lenten Blessings,
Pastor Nicholas Perry
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