Two Sundays ago, Pastor Jay introduced our community to a Season of Refresh, with a new sermon series for Sunday mornings. The sermons will be on the Greater Story of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. He challenged us to see how our story connects with this Greater Story of Jesus. The question for me personally then is, how does my story connect with the Greater Story of Jesus, and how am I living out my story in light of the Greater Story of Jesus?
Traditionally and historically, some have observed the Lent season beginning with Ash Wednesday with some rituals and traditions. I grew up in a church that observed and participated in the Lent rituals. As a child, I remember giving up meat on Fridays and I was encouraged to give up things in my life as a sacrifice to God. When I became a Christian and accepted Jesus into my heart, I really rebelled against those rituals as an obligation of preparation for Easter. I have since appreciated some of those practices, but I believe it is always about my heart attitude.
I really enjoyed hearing about the Season of Refresh as I prepare for Easter. I believe it is a season also of renewal and a refocus on Jesus. A Season of Refresh, I believe, may include more time to reflect and concentrate on my intimacy with Christ. Pastor Jay also challenged us to think of one thing we would like to change or give up on what we are doing in our life and what is one thing we would like to add. He called it “One plus One.” To be honest I knew what I needed to change or give up and that was less time watching TV. I enjoy watching series on NetFlix or Prime Video. Please don’t misunderstand me, I needed to do less watching, not no watching of TV. I also enjoy watching college basketball, so no watching of TV would be impossible! Remember that the Lord will reveal what you need to change or give up. Everyone is different. The “plus One” for me is to spend more time reflecting during my time in the Word and to do more journaling. I give you permission to ask me how I am doing, and maybe you might be willing to share how you are doing in this Season of Refresh.
So, getting back to the question of how my story connects with the greater story of Jesus. Here are some of my thoughts. Let me include you in my first draft! I have been reading the book, “The Call” by Os Guinness for Don Westerberg’s Sunday morning class. It has really challenged me to consider, first of all, that my primary calling is to be a follower of Christ. Many times I get caught up in what Os Guinness calls our secondary callings. For me, my secondary callings are to be a servant of Jesus in my marriage, and family; ministry callings, etc. So, how I live out the story needs to be with the sole purpose of being a follower of Christ. As a follower, I need to be aware of how I love others in my life. Do I love my family and friends with an unconditional love? Do they see Jesus in all that I do and say?
I look forward to exploring more about how I am living out my story in light of the Greater Story of Jesus. Our life story is a journey, so let’s continue this dialogue with one another.
Last Sunday morning we experienced our first time of setting aside five minutes before the service begins at 10:30 to focus on prayer. This is part of our Season of Refresh before Easter. Many participated and some asked if we could extend this time. So, this Sunday, we are adding five more minutes to this time. That means we will begin our guided prayer time at 10:20 in preparation for our worship at 10:30! Come and join us!
See you Sunday!