Lent 1, March 5, 2017

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Title:Lent 1, March 5, 2017

 March 5, 2017

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This week was the end of Epiphany and the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday.  Lent began with a bang with a intense storm that knocked out electricity in the area for several hours. So you can say God’s power was felt in the storm and we realized our own tenuous nature, a theme of Lent! Like Jesus we were tested. 

Both our events went on normally. The Village Dinner ended Epiphany with Andrea’s fish, rice, mullins and pie. We then had 20 at the Ash Wednesday service. Despite cooler snap this week, the spring flowers continued in the not spring weather.

The Ash Wednesday liturgy provides words about the purpose of Lent. "I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word." God’s power was felt in the storm and we realized our own tenuous nature.

We had 41 in church service today, Lent 1,with 5 visitors from St. George’s. Catherine during the announcements thanked that church for her supporting her towards the ministry and those who came today.  We had birthdays to celebrate from Becky and Karen. We contributed to fundraisers for children’s hospitals and for sending Tucker to the Boy Scout jamboree this summer.

First Sunday social was held with contributions from Betty and Clarence (potato and vegetable soup), Barbara (two sets of sandwiches) and Becky (desserts. 

Our Lenten Christian ed "Five Marks of Mission" alao began this week with video and emails.   The Five Marks of Mission that the Anglican Church identified were: first, proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God (TELL); second, teaching, baptizing, and nurturing new believers; (TEACH) third, responding to human need by loving service; (TEND) fourth, transforming unjust structures, challenging violence of every kind, (TRANSFORM) and pursuing peace and reconciliation; and fifth, striving to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustaining and renewing the life of the earth. (TREASURE).  

Today’s readings remind us of the familiar cycle of temptation, fall, forgiveness and empowerment. Adam and Eve, who have been given all good things from God, crave more and give in to temptation. Paul announces that the gift of grace in Jesus Christ overcomes the condemnation of sin. Jesus sees through the tempter’s lures and resists, using the power of God’s word.

Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation works out the implications of the voice present at Jesus’ baptism, declaring him to be the Son of God. It is a vivid reminder that our baptismal life is similar to Christ’s life: we will be subject to trial and temptation.  We can avoid tempation just as Christ can’t

For Matthew, sonship is manifested in perfect obedience to the Father’s will. Israel was also called the son of God, but failed to obey God despite the time of formation in the wilderness. Now Jesus, the true Israel, is led into the wilderness to be tested. Like Moses and Elijah, he fasts for 40 days and nights.

The mountain and the ministry of angels also point to Jesus as Messiah. He is tempted to doubt his sonship (“If you are the Son of God…”; vv. 3-5) and to use the power of that relationship for selfish ends. From the narrative of Israel’s testing in the wilderness, Jesus responds to the tempter, affirming his complete trust and obedience to his Father. Jesus has manifested the perfect obedience that he teaches his disciples and has shown the Church how to respond to temptations concerning the power entrusted to the Church.

The sermon provided guidelines for Christian Decision Making which was printed in the bulletin:

Remember who you are:

A beloved child of God who makes every effort to spend uninterrupted time with God through prayer each day, and who is diligent about studying scripture and learning from it the ways God would have us to go.

Keep the promises made at our baptisms:

Renounce Satan.

Renounce the evil powers of the world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.

Renounce sinful desires that draw you from the love of God, and whenever you fall into sin, repent.

Turn to Jesus Christ.

Put your whole trust in his grace and love.

Promise to follow and obey him as your Lord.

Ask these questions when making decisions:

Is the decision to take care of a need or desire I have for my own satisfaction going to have negative implications for others? (Temptation 1)

Is the choice I am about to make putting God to the test or manipulating God? How does my faith in God play into the choice I am getting ready to make? (Temptation 2)

Does the end justify the means, based on all of the above? (Temptation 3)

Once the decision is made:

Trust that God is already with you, waiting on you, caring for you and blessing you.

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