Monday, February 8, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Service of Reconciliation in The Great Lent
Matthew 5:21-27
Jason M Thomas
St. Peter's MTC, Teaneck, NJ
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

We begin our journey with the Service of Great Lent where we are reminded that we live in sin which originated from the garden of Eden.  Our sins have turned us away from the glory of our Lord.  As our Bible portion teaches us that the first step in the Great Lent is forgiveness. The Lord forgives us, and His forgiveness is in Christ, His Son, whom He sent to us so that we may share in His love and truly be reconciled with God.  It is the renewal and growth of this love that we seek in the Great Lent through fasting and prayer. Fasting is a way of the spiritual (not physical) renewal of man in the return to God's glory.

There was a famous American named, Louis Zamerini, who ran in the Berlin Olympics and then soon afterwards went to serve in World War II.  During World War II, his military aircraft failed and Louis and his crew members fell right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no where to go. At this point in time, thinking that he did not survive in the ocean, President Franklin D. Roosevelt  had provided his condolence to Louis's parents in 1944.  However, Louis and his crew survived for 47 days amidst hungry sharks in the ocean only to be captured by the enemy, the Japanese. While in captivity for nearly two years, Louis was specifically tortured and humiliated by a certain Japanese military man who did not particularly like him. Louis was finally released by the Japanese government and returned to the United States. After his release, Louis led a sinful life until he met the Lord during a Billy Graham crusade. Louis remembered that he dropped to his knees for the first time in his life and humbled himself before the Lord.  Louis later returned back to Japan in 1950 to forgive his captors for what they had done to him. Louis died in July 2014  and left behind a lesson in forgiveness.
Let us begin the Great Lent season as the day in which we acquire the power to make true fasting and begin our reconciliation with the Lord.


Dear Heavenly Father, As we begin this journey in the Great Lent Season, we ask for Your Light in the  darkness that surrounds us. Amen
"So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I also wore rough burlap and sprinkled myself with ashes."  Daniel 9:3