Wednesday, February 14, 2018 Ash Wednesday:
2nd Corinthians 6:1-2: Working together with Him, then we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says, "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have help you." Behold, now is the favorable time,; behold now is the day of salvation.
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is the day that begins the season of Lent. Lent is a season prior to Easter where our focus is on repentance, remembrance, and renewal. It is a time when we pay special attention to repenting of our sins and asking God to forgive us because of what Jesus did. It is a time to remember what Jesus went through in order to forgive our sins. We remember that Jesus was "stricken, smitten, and afflicted" along with His rising to life on Easter Sunday. And that is why this season is also a time of renewal. We have a new life because of Jesus.
And that is what St. Paul is saying to us along with the Corinthians. God promised us favor and life. Now is that time. It's hard to recognize that when we can't see it. Either the world is saying, "You don't need God's favor and help. You can create your own favor and happiness. You don't need a god for that." Or the world is tearing itself apart. All I see and hear on the news is bad news. Somebody died and the hands of someone else. Someone died of cancer. Where is "your god" in all of this?
I have to admit. The favor and help from God is tough to see. At the same time, it's here. It's here because the message of grace and the life of grace is seen in people who live it out day by day. They trust God to provide life and salvation. They trust God even though the world doesn't. And it is through Christians, who trust God and believe in His favor and salvation, that God's favor is seen and experienced. If you don't know about and haven't experienced God's love and forgiveness, reply to me, seek out Christians. They'll tell you. God, lead us all to see and experience Your favor and salvation, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.