Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday 2017

Hebrews 10:19-25English Standard Version (ESV)
The Full Assurance of Faith
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

I love the premise that Justin set forth at the beginning of the service – Lent has historically been a time of transition in the church, not only when new believers were brought into the congregation, washed of their sins through baptism but also when those separated from the congregation through sin were reconciled to the body of Christ.  Think of their joy as they left the old behind and embraced the new chapter God had in store for them.
Here in Hebrews we start with a therefore – think of all that God has done for you, for us.  Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, we who have been washed in the blood of Christ, forgiven of our sins, are charged to live into our calling as new creations.  And so we draw near to God, assured of our forgiveness. We hold fast to our faith, trusting in the faithfulness of God.  And we are charged to stir up one another to love and serve, always remember to gather together in fellowship and worship.

This is obviously a season of transition for Vista, and we are looking forward to the next step that God has for the congregation.  As you go out into the night, into this season of Lent, I’d encourage you to think about what God has in store for you.  How are you being charged to grow during this season of preparation?  What is God calling you into?  And how is God calling you to participate in the next step of this church?  How might you take part in what God is calling us to do together to hold fast to God and encourage one another to go out and proclaim the joy we find in Christ our Savior.

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