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January 28, 2016, 3:52 PM

Some Lenten Thoughts

Lent comes early this year, right after Christmas holidays with family and friends and gifts and food. It hardly
seems fair! But maybe Lent will help to reinforce some of those New Years resolutions about watching our
weight and getting back to a more disciplined routine.
Lent has always been harder for me than any other season on the church calendar. And it's probably because
I used to equate it primarily with giving up something. My reasoning was, Jesus gave himself up for me, so now
I should give up something for him. Not myself, surely, but something less demanding and more symbolic. Like,
giving up ice cream. Now, that is a real sacrifice!
But what is the purpose of such a sacrifice? Again, my young mind reasoned, it's because self-discipline is good
for me.
The truth is, Lent is not about ME. Not about us. And the sacrifice that is emphasized is more often a waste
of time than anything, if it's only about ME.
As always, Jesus challenges us with the real meaning of sacrifice (and of Lent). He teaches us:

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions

and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never

fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Luke 12:32-34 (NIV)

See the point? It's not about our sacrifice. It's about our helping someone else. Not just sell something, but
share what we have with someone else, someone who needs it.
What do we call that?
Jesus calls it the kingdom of God.


Rev. Gregory Ross
Sr. Minister
First Christian Church (DOC)
3105 RR 12
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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