I wasn't much of an athlete when I was younger. Mostly it was because I just didn't like to practice. I wanted to get right to the games. The one sport that I played and was actually decent at was soccer. No I still didn't like practicing. It just seemed so boring: ball handling skills, endurance training, blocking and "interception" drills. But of course the more we practiced the more I saw the reason for going back to the fundamentals of the game. I got faster, better, and was able to help out the team. Fundamentals aren't bad because they are what everything else is built off of.
What does practice have to do with anything? Well during Lent we do something very similar. Traditionally Lent is a season of us going back to the fundamentals of our faith. For the six weeks of Lent we are called to look to our baptism and remember what that means to us: that we have been saved; washed and purified through the waters of baptism and made into followers of Christ. And along with that goes the obvious reaction: "Repent!" As Christians we are called to look at the sins in our lives and turn away from those temptations. Yes this is something that we should do every day as Christians, but it's a great idea to have the 40 days of Lent too specifically focus on the beginning of faith. We remember about our redemption won for us by Jesus' suffering and death. Let's use the time given to us this Lent to return and train on the fundamentals of our faith. "...we wait for the blessed hope-the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." (Titus 2:13-14)
Someone recently made the observation that we are preoccupied with vampires, magic, and witchcraft. Could it be that we are bored with our daily lives? Do we think there are no major battles to be waged? Do we imagine there are few villains pitted against us? Maybe we think our lives are quite boring.
The reality is we are in a battle for our spiritual lives everyday. The chief enemy is very real. His name is Satan. The Bible describes him as a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8). That is as true in 2014 as it was in 2013.
The good news is we have a champion named Jesus who has won the war for us. He didn't use magic or cast any spells. As the God/man he did work miracles for us. He went head to head with Satan and won. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work" (I John 3:8). The war has been won, but the battle for our souls is still fierce. Our lives may seem boring on the surface, but it is important for us to put on the full armor of God. This is true for us in the new year. Jesus has done the miraculous.
There is only one way to put on the armor of God. We need to actively worship our Savior, receive his body and blood in Holy Communion, read his Word and encourage one another as we see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). That may seem boring to some, but God's people remember that it is a matter of life and death.
J.A.M. stands for Jesus in the Afternoon for Me. J.A.M. is a Wednesday after-school program for children in grades 1-5. All are welcome to attend especially those who do not have a church home or Sunday school.
Children gather in St. Paul's fellowship hall after arriving from their school (they can get shuttled by bus from their school to St. Paul’s--Ask your child’s bus driver for details). The sessions begin with a snack, free time (games), a Bible lesson (beginning around 3:50), singing and craft. Children are to be picked up at 5:00 p.m. You can register your child when you bring them or by clicking the link below to our online registration form.
J.A.M. is FREE and a fun way for your child to learn valuable lessons for life and bring them closer to God.
For more information click on the link below to the J.A.M. handbook or call St. Paul's church and school office 783-2552 extension 0.