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Feasting through Lent

2/14/16 – 3/20/16

Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, as we prepare for Easter through prayer, fasting and giving. In this sermon series as we journey with Jesus towards the cross, we will consider what words and practices we might feast on as well as those to fast from.

Feb 14 – Courage – Luke 4:1-13
Feb 21 – Compassion – Luke 13:31-35
Feb 28 – Patience – Luke 13:1-9
Mar 6 – Forgiveness – Luke 15:11-32
Mar 13 – Appreciation – John 12:1-8
Mar 20 – Trust – Luke 19:28-40, 23:32-46

trust

Trust

For Lent this year, we’ve been trying to practice fasting from some words and feasting on others. We’ve been practicing living into the coherence of word and deed. Some of the words have been easier than others. Forgiveness and patience are hard. Today’s word trust is hard too. (Luke 23:32-46)

appreciation

Appreciation

Smells trigger memories and pull at our heartstrings. Perhaps you can remember the smell of cookies in your grandmother’s house? Or the laundry powder your mom used to wash your clothes? They say some people can smell a good story a mile off. Our story today has a smell! It comes not long after the smell of a rotting corpse with Lazarus having been laid in a tomb for 4 days before Jesus brought him back to life. (John 12:1-8)

forgiveness

Forgiveness

The normal action of a shamed parent was to disown the son. In our parable, the father does not shun his son. The father’s forgiveness has no strings attached; it is free of conditions. This is scandalous grace. (Luke 15:11-32)

patience

Patience

I’m sure many of you have heard of this prayer: Lord, give me patience and I want it now! Anyone ever prayed that? How patient are you? How do you feel driving to Grass Valley on Highway 49 stuck behind a slow driver and a line of traffic? What does patience look like when the result may be a long time coming? (Luke 13:1-9)

compassion

Compassion

Jesus is faced with a choice. How should he respond to what the Pharisees have just told him? We face decisions each day of our lives. Some of the situations we find ourselves in are harder to deal with than others. Every time we interact with others through both the big and the small issues, we have a choice as to how we respond. And Jesus does not criticize the Pharisees who have come to him. Instead he talks about the compassion and the empathy and the longing that he has for the people of Jerusalem. (Luke 13:31-35)

courage

Courage

The original practice of fasting means to give up food, as in whole meals. Fasting has long roots in many Christian traditions, including Methodism. To fast from food reminds us of our dependence on God. The hunger pains we experience remind us to pray, as and the extra time we gain from not cooking and eating can be spent in prayer. The money saved is then given away. So we fast from food to feast on prayer and giving. What else might we fast and feast on this Lent? (Luke 4:1-13)