Today we begin looking at the suffering God endured through His Son Jesus Christ for every human being. Suffering for doing something wrong is one thing, but for acts of love, kindness and help and with no ulterior motives is something beyond our comprehension. God who is omnipotent, willingly endured brutal whipping, humiliation and nailed to a cross for three hours. Why? His love for you, not wanting anyone to be eternally separated from him.
The cross and its shame with all its complexities best explains human suffering. There is no natural way to explain it besides saying its part of our natural world from the beginning of time. The cross points back to the Garden of Eden, but also explains pain and suffering today. As His followers we are called to share in His suffering. If the world hated Jesus it will hate His children. When we find the challenges of life overwhelming it helps to consider the overwhelming pain and rejection Jesus suffered for us so that we would never be rejected by the Father.
When we look at the cross and what took place, we will see in Jesus’ eyes deep compassion, love, humanity and humility. We will see a God who is human and divine and not some impersonal force floating around space waiting to be tapped into. Rather you see a merciful God willing to pay the ultimate price for your freedom from sin, death and Satan.
Ash Wednesday and the thirty-nine days that follow is what reminds us of that each year. Instead of viewing Lent and Ash Wednesday as another worship service, see it as an invitation to look at the heart of God and His love for you.
Pr. Bob Snitzer
By the Way:
Sunday 21, 9:00 Morning Lenten worship and Holy Communion. Sermon: Return to Prayer.
Annual meeting 10:20, No Sunday school.
Morning worship services may be viewed on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Pilot-Knob-Lutheran-Church-Forest-City-IA-431071033738650/ and our website at: www.pilotknob.org (Click on sermon at the very top of the page then Sunday’s Sermon then scroll down to the correct date. It is viewed through Facebook even if you don’t have an account.)
Offerings/donations can be sent to Angie Lawrence or the donation button on our web page.