Stephentown Federated Church




Pastor's Sermons

LENTEN JOURNEY 2012……. So far…………

Our time in the desert has been inspired by the Scriptures and enriched by our internal encounter with God and ourselves.

The first week we entered the desert; we noticed the starkness and lack of comfort there. We realized that in the wilderness we acknowledge our complete dependence on God for sustenance.

The second week we confronted what we must “lay down” in order to move into the desert and the new life of the Gospel. Old philosophies, old prejudices, old ways of thinking must be put away if we are to embrace the new covenant, the new life that the Christ offers us.

The third week, we realized that Jesus was ending the old ways of the Temple, demanding a new and different way of engaging with God. We tried to understand the fear of the Temple authorities as their power and leadership were challenged. We began to contemplate leaving the desert, taking up the cross and bringing this challenge to the world.

This week we raised high the cross. We discussed holding it up as a symbol of healing and also a symbol of loudly declaring what it means to be a follower of Christ. If we claim to be Christian, then we must also demand food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, care for the sick, respect and non-judgement for all people, love for our enemies. We discussed our responsibility to call our government and church officials to accountability to the Gospel if they claim to the Christian.

WE are now the Body of Christ; Gospel values are ours to lift high and proclaim. It is not a luxury; the word “Christian” is claimed by many who refuse to care for the sick, feed the hungry or embrace the poor, the exploited, the foreigner. We must be willing to call them out and demand that they prove their commitment to Gospel values as stated very clearly by Jesus.

The world is desperately in need of this healing. Our work is clear and ahead of us.

Brave work.

Courageous speech.

Passionate commitment to demand that the Gospel be upheld by those who want to lead us.

That is where Lent has led us.

Onward…. To the Passion…. To Resurrection.