Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Lent 2021. The banners hang over the north door of the Main Sanctuary and over the entrance to McDonnell Hall. Do you remember what the challenge is?

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving: the three biblical challenges for Christian living.

We refresh our Prayer life.
We Fast.
We give Alms to the poor.

What better time than Lent to look at how we are doing, how we can focus on getting back to basics?

When I look at my own prayer life, I have a sense of rust. I have a wind chime outside my porch that I bought many years ago and it has rusted very well. There is a nice rust patina on the three tone panels. The only problem is that the chain with the disc that catches the wind to make the chime “Bong” also rusted. God knows where it went, so Patricio is fabricating a new one. Unfortunately, Patricio doesn’t do rusting knees.

We all know some bad four-letter words we should never use. ‘Fast’ could qualify for me. Whether you’re talking about moving or eating, either way, ‘fast’ scares me. The knees say, “Don’t.” The tummy says, “Don’t.” Looks like I’ve got some work to do. Maybe if I got the tummy in line, the knees would have an easier time. Don’t you just hate it went something makes sense, and you don’t want to be sensible?

“Alms” has its roots in a Greek word meaning mercy or pity. The poor were given alms. That could be money or anything that would help the poor people.

So here we are at St. Seb looking at the banners catching the little puffs of wind. They flap a little, trying to catch our attention.

As I think about my prayer, my first reaction is that sometimes it seems very one-sided. But in my heart of hearts, I know that’s because I’m really NOT listening for His voice. That voice comes in such unexpected ways at times. Remember Elijah hearing the Lord’s voice in a whisper at the door of a cave? That was after earthquakes and torna¬dos didn’t reveal God to him.

Because I’m thinking about it right now, writing this Twitch, I feel a sense of gratitude to the Lord for puffing up with my thoughtlessness and foolishness. On the next page we included a nice short reflection on “Giving Up.” Thanks to Patrick O’Dea. Talk about profitable fasting. There is also the fasting that we celebrate with our Rice Bowls. We fast from food and we take the proceeds of what a meal would have cost and put that money in the Rice Bowls. There you are! A little fasting has made us ALMSGIVERS!

So The PFA Challenge isn’t a big mystery after all. It’s the way I come to personal renewal of my heart. As the Lord said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” I don’t want to fall in that category. I don’t want to get into checkbook Christianity (i.e. write a check and you solve everything.) I want to come to Easter, even after all these years, with a sense of newness that always tells you eternal life is real and possible.

In Jesus,
sign frjim

P.S. ABCD report. We are 88.8% there! Keep it up!

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