Friday Greetings — February 16

Dear Centenary friends,

And it's here!  Another Lent has begun:  40 days provided as a special gift to us - a time for self-examination, repentance, and amendment of life.

Many followers of Jesus will "give something up" for Lent; others will "take something on"...I'm hoping we'll all do both.   Never ask people to do something you're not willing to do - that's what they teach you in Preacher School! - so, just for the record, here's my Lenten List:  I've taken on reading two chapters of the Gospels each night; and I've given up (pause for emphasis)... exaggeration.  Wow.  This is going to be really, really hard...and that's no exaggeration.

Which brings me the subject at hand, which is Temptation (with a capital "T").  It's tempting to loosen up our devotion to whatever it is we're taking on; and it's also tempting to give up on sacrificing whatever we've given up.  Seriously.  That being said, it's no surprise at all what this week's scripture passages put before us:  sin, and the temptation to sin.  We can find it right there waiting for us in the Old Testament and the Gospel lessons for this 1st Sunday in Lent.

So, come to worship scripturally prepared!  This Sunday's Bible readings are Genesis 9:8-17 and Mark 1:9-15.  Read both passages, and then ask yourself:   What is my greatest temptation at this point in life?  Is it different from my greatest temptation earlier in life?  What is my "game plan" for resisting temptation...recognizing, of course, that temptation is far, far more than a mere game.

Opportunities to recognize and resist temptation come to us day by day; but there's no better time to celebrate the One who faced every temptation we do, "yet was without sin," than when we're gathered to worship Jesus together.  See you on Sunday!

Lenten blessings,
Pastor Susan