Posted by on Feb 18, 2021 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on We Are the Sign

Dear Lord…as we look at your words to us this first Sunday of Lent…speak to us. Thank you for the signs you give us that you are in our lives. Thank you for the forgiveness you offer us as your children who you have giving the mission of making disciples in this world, but often fall short. Help us realize that we are the sign of your promises to all people.

Our gospel for this first Sunday in the season of Lent is from Mark 1:9-15. We have considered this reading a few weeks ago when we looked at the meaning of our baptism and reaffirmed our baptism with each other. The other reading we will be considering today is from Genesis 9:8-17.

One of my favorite movies is “Evan Almighty”. This is the movie that puts into pictures a man in supposedly current times who God asked to make an ark. It always makes me realize that God is always with us….guiding and protecting us. What the evil one of the characters did for his own pleasure was to build a dam that was not built to specifications and was in danger of producing a flood if there was a hard rain and destroying homes and lives.

We saw God portrayed in several scenes talking with the man who God wanted to build the ark. God appeared to the wife when she wasn’t willing to stay with the man. We saw the children helping build the ark, the animals also helping and we learned at the end that what had been exhibited by all were “Acts of Random Kindness.”

What we see in the verses from Genesis is the promise God made to Noah when the ark had saved Noah and his family from the flood. God promised to never do this again and stated that he would remember his promise (covenant) with the appearance of a rainbow after a rain or storm. Don’t we all LOVE to see rainbows? We, also, remember this promise God made to Noah and to us. It was the sign to remind all that God promised life to all and would not destroy everything again.

Now…to the gospel reading. We see Jesus being baptized by John…and the voice Jesus heard from God, ”You are my beloved Son, in whom I’m well pleased.” As soon as Jesus heard this, Mark writes that he went off to the wilderness for 40 days.

God’s statement about Jesus really began his earthly ministry. So, Mark hints that by going off to the wilderness for 40 days, Jesus was preparing himself for that ministry…as when he returned from there, he began calling his disciples and proclaiming the good news.

I find it interesting that Jesus went off by himself for 40 days…and we are to begin looking at ourselves during Lent to see what we can add to our lives to grow as God’s disciples. We are asked to repent, which is really changing one way of acting to one that reflects our promises to follow what God wants us to do. There will be times when we will be tempted, as Jesus was…but remember that God is always with us protecting us. He never leaves us or forsakes us.

Jesus was concerned with helping people who were in need as well as being healed. Jesus had left the family who raised him to do the work God had designated for him that began at his baptism. He took the 40 days to train and prepare for his ministry.

So, you ask…what about the “sign”? Jesus was the sign that God is always with us…and is our advocate. God has promised to never leave us alone. We are also connected to our friends and family here on earth. Our God wants us to remember that we have all sinned. But we are to remember that God is always with us. He forgives us and commissions us to be the sign through our words and our actions.

The church together is a sign that we are all together. This is our remembering that we are always together. We, as disciples, are the sign that we are community of faith. We are the sign.

How do we show we are the sign? Through our words and actions, we reflect our commitment to God. We know that in our Acts of Random Kindness that we do not expect to be “praised” or complimented. We do this because we know God loves us and is always with us and shows us how we can serve others. We also show that we are part of God’s family and have committed our lives to Him.

Our call this Lent is that of a corporate action. We gather together as people who have fallen short and who have been saved by Jesus’ sacrifice. We are together to remember that we are never alone….God is always with us. We are to minister and serve those who are scattered and bring them into our community of faith.

During these days of Lent…may you find that one act that will bring growth to our lives. Blessings to all of you as you remember you are never alone and are God’s sign here on earth.

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