Ephesians 2:1-10

                You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

                But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God–not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

 

From Rev. Dr. Victor Hunter, Pastor

First Christian Church, New Martinsville

“God, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised up with Christ Jesus.” God is the first word and focus of our Lenten reflections. It is before the life-giving God that we stand, not some mirror of self-introspection. The three devotions of Lent point to this.

Prayer: reminding us of our relationship with God.

Fasting: reminding us to give up in order to “lighten-up.”

Almsgiving: reminding us to “give away.”

Why? So that we can live life-alive in Christ. We “pray up” to focus on our life before God.

We “give up” and “give away” in order to make room for the authentic life of the spirit. Lent’s focus on simplicity is to help us “lighten up” in order to “live it up.”

“For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”

Howard Thurman provides this wisdom: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive!”

 

Enlighten us, O God, to the way of life,

as we unburden ourselves from all which keeps us

from truly living. Amen.

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