A Time to Repent, Reflect

A Time to Repent, Reflect

Did you hear the sounds as you entered the sanctuary tonight for worship?

Perhaps you heard the sounds of familiar friends and family members as we walked into the church. Perhaps you heard the sounds of paper rattling, the echoes of the heater blowing air through the sanctuary, or even people placing their items on the pew. Perhaps you heard the sounds of the organ as the music began to be played to alert us that our worship was about to begin.

But, did you hear the sounds of the trumpet?

At first glance, we are probably wondering if we missed something. We likely cannot recall someone standing before the sanctuary and blowing out the sounds of a deep melody. Yet, did you hear the trumpet? The proverbial sounds of the trumpet that blew out throughout this holy day calling us into this time of worship. The sounds that penetrated our hearts that called us to gather for this important time of holy reflection as a community of faith as we prepare to begin this season of preparation and renewal.

The trumpet sounded today in our hearts to call us to be renewed in our walk and life with God. We gather, as a body of faith, to reflect upon our lives in Christ’s love, to be renewed in our journey of faith, and to set our face towards the cross and the empty tomb. We have gathered to begin this important season of reflection on this Ash Wednesday evening. Continue reading “A Time to Repent, Reflect”

Preparing for Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas movies, if not one of my favorite movies of all time, is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” It is my “must watch at least five times” movie during the Christmas season.

The movie follows Clark W. Griswold on his mission to have the perfect Christmas family gathering. He invites his entire family to his Chicago home, from in-laws to distant cousins, for a festive celebration. Of course, along the way Clark runs into a lot of hilarious obstacles.

I think that is why I love the movie so much. I can relate to Clark. For one, I’m a little bit of a klutz and can be a bit accident-prone. When Clark staples his shirt to the roof, I empathize with him, knowing that it is something I would likely do. I can also relate to Clark because I love to plan things and want every holiday gathering to be perfect. I spend all my time in the weeks leading up to a holiday thinking about what we will eat, what we will do, or what route we will take to get to our families. I plan for everything so that we will have the perfect celebration and have a hard time when something goes wrong, such as an unexpected traffic delay on the way home from a family gathering. Continue reading “Preparing for Christmas”

Fan or Follower: Followers Turn to God

The English language is made up of words and phrases that helps us to express ourselves with others.

Some of these phrases express a need, such as “I am hungry.” Some of these phrases express our physically state, such as “I do not feel well.” Others, however, simply suggest our preferences for something, such as “I like bananas.”

Of all the words and phrases in the English language, I believe there is one phrase that is more difficult than any other to say. That is because it is a phrase forces us to do the uncomfortable. It forces us to look within ourselves. It also requires us to understand what someone might be saying to us and to take a good hard look at our life.

The phrase that, I believe, might be the hardest for any of us to say is this: “I’m sorry.” Saying “I’m sorry” means to admit that we have done something that has hurt someone else. It means to confess that our actions, words, or thoughts might have caused pain for someone. At the same time, it also means to take the first step towards reconciliation and renewing our relationships with one another.

All of us can think to moments when we have said, “I’m sorry” to someone or have needed to say, “I’m sorry.” It is never easy to admit when we have done something wrong or caused pain towards another person. However, we can all think back to those moments and recognize that in those moments when we’ve said, “I’m sorry” it has led to healing not just in our relationships with someone else, but also within our own soul. Continue reading “Fan or Follower: Followers Turn to God”