Sometimes a simple mental image can stick with you better than a thousand words. I like this one from Mother Teresa:
"Your work on behalf of God’s kingdom will be better carried out if you know how he wants you to carry it out, but you will have no way of knowing that, other than by obedience to his word. Submit to it, just like ivy. Ivy cannot live if it does not hold fast to something; you will not grow or live in holiness unless you hold fast to obedience."
Something that Jesus emphasized often is the simple call to love others. He called it a commandment. It's better to simply obey this command before we get caught up in rationalizing and defensiveness. The following quote is from Thomas Merton:
"Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can."
Today's Lenten thoughts are from William Willimon:
"To be baptized “into Christ” and “in the name of Christ” means to be incorporated into the way of life which characterized his life, the life of the empty one, the servant, the humble one, the obedient one, obedient even unto death (Phil. 2:6–11). That day at the Jordan, knee deep in cold water, with old John drenching him, the Anointed One began his journey down the via crucis. His baptism intimated where he would finally end. His whole life was caught up in this single sign. Our baptism does the same."
At REMC we are anticipating membership and baptism services in April. An opportunity for all of us to reflect on our own baptismal declaration of faith and obedience to Jesus.
May you revel in God's goodness and faithfulness today.
Pastor Ward Parkinson