Lent 1 Sermon for 8 am (instructional Eucharist at 10:30)
Just a few words and suggestions on where you should be early in this Lenten Season….
Our thoughts should be focused on examining the lives that we live.
This sermon is very short – but very important – so stop all minds from wondering, and listen…
Woe to the strong current of a corrupt custom (a habit):
I tend to forget them myself. I intend to proceed as the words lie to me.
We tell ourselves it is OK when we know that it is not.
To change that corrupt custom, that bad habit
We must first: To “turn,” first;
When we have decided that yes it time to “turn” – to get on on back on the right track
But where to we “turn”
well why not try “to God:” (I am the lord thy God…yes he did say “I AM”)
but what can we offer to God?
“To God, with the heart;”
you see that is all that He wants; for if you give Him your heart, then He will take care of the rest in; His own way, and within His own time.
But what heart is it that He wants?
Well, He want “the whole heart.”
My brethren, there is no short changing God…no indeed,
if He is going to give you the greatest of all gifts (His Grace – His love for you)
then you must give Him your greatest gift – not just part of it – but your whole heart.
So, we now have the manner, the way this is done;
Well we were told on Ash Wednesday in Joel 2:12 which are of the body’s tasking:
Practiced by the Jews – the early church even mentions it in the Didache (one of the first church documents)
and it is designed to strengthen the spiritual life by weakening the attractions of pleasures..
And weeping: yes a dripping of overflowing, as it is continual:
TO MAKE A GREAT LAMENTATION
And a “mourning and rending the heart.”
Yes that heart that you have totally given to God must now “mourn” with the affection of sorrow;
a passionate expression of grief and sorrow for things done in past.
Finally the “rending” of heart; to tear from the heart all anger, even if provoked by unfair treatment.
St. Michael’s has had a wonderful beginning to the Lenten Season (attendance is way up at all events even with all the rainy weather.)
Plow ahead as with a vengeance upon sinful actions within your lives, remove them, and stand with He whose love for you will be seen during the next 40 days….
The hour cometh…..