The season of Lent is a spiritual retreat - a time where we can take a step back and listen to God’s voice, who points us to the areas of our life which prevent us from living rightly before Him. In other words, the Lord reminds us of our continual need for repentance, to draw near to His Son Jesus Christ and so live according to the Truth (with a capital “T”). Beloved, it is my prayer that we would recognize the importance and urgency of sober self-assessment and repentance this Lenten season.
When we give our attention to worthless things, we are robbing God of that same attention. Not that God needs our attention, but that we abandon His ways, and we allow our relationship with Him to wither. We give our attention to that which we value most at that moment in time. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
As with the Israelites, the world where we once worshipped no longer exists. The way forward is only through the wilderness, through the desert. And God will make a highway and a river to lead us, but it is our responsibility to follow him and not go astray. Thus, it is not about your way or my way, but about God’s way. May Holy Communion Anglican Church in 2022 and beyond be faithful to follow God’s way, wherever it may lead.
There is no replacement for the institution of marriage. When you destroy the foundation, the whole house collapses. Christians, more than anyone else, must be bold to defend Holy Matrimony, for all its imperfections, because to lose it is to lose the foundation of human society, and a precious dispensation of God’s Grace.
God’s people do not have the option to “turn off” their spiritual identity. Likewise, a church that tries to blend in with the surrounding culture does not merely hide its lamp under a basket but instead smothers it out completely. If a church, then, is ashamed of its Christian identity, can it really claim to be Christian at all? The answer, of course, is a resounding “no.”
We are physically and spiritually programmed with the need for a guiding light, an over-arching narrative, a moral point of reference - even more so than a material one. Thus, the account of the Wise Men points to a reality far deeper and truer than the story itself. What we have with the Wise Men is actually a microcosm of the Christian experience. The journey of the Magi shows us a representation of our own life’s journey before Jesus Christ, the living God.
Not only is Christ our hope, but He is also our comfort. In His flesh, Christ understands every difficulty and affliction we face in our daily lives. Christmas reminds us there is no problem we face that our God does not understand, nor does He let us face it alone.
God has ordained a profound simplicity in the act of proper gratitude. At its core, God-centered thanksgiving focuses our attention on our eternal reward in Christ Jesus. And from that focal point, every good gift we receive this side of heaven, as well as every misfortune we face due to sin, is put into proper perspective.
To borrow from the late author Neil Postman, we are “amusing ourselves to death.” Like Huxley’s “Brave New World”, we are enslaved by our addiction to easy entertainment, and we eagerly give up our Christian liberty in exchange for instant gratification. Our eyes are drawn to worthless things far more easily than the true beauty of the Lord! We are far more likely to look to our phones than to the truth, beauty, and goodness of God’s Word. We are, quite literally, amusing ourselves until death.
Selfless giving through willing obedience to God’s commands and abundance of joy exist in a reciprocal relationship perfectly embodied in the person of Christ, and it is our duty to follow His example.