Word for Word 4/10/19


Rev. Sedar Wembonyama

Lent

As we are in the season of Lent, many Christians in the world observe the discipline of praying and fasting; it’s the period we approach God through discipline.

The period of Lent many churches and Christians observe their discipline to God, it’s the season we think about our issues and others. It’s the season to walk on God’s path and take Jesus as an example which we can follow. Since I am talking about Lent, I have three points that we can observe during lent: Sacrifice, prayer and charity.

(Romans 12: 1) It is the season of sacrificing our body to Christ because our body is the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 6: 15) You need to keep your body holy, because it is the house of God. That is the same as you take care of your home, it’s the same way with your body. Feed your body with the word of God. Sacrifice yourself to love your enemy. Even though Jesus said love your enemy and pray for him, but let me tell you, it’s not easy to love someone who has done something wrong to you. I am a sacrifice and I have to sacrifice my body to God no matter what I have to love and pray to him.

(Mark 1: 35) When he was into the world, very early in the morning, while it was still dark Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. What time do you wake up for prayer? How many minutes do you take when you are praying? (1 Thessalonians 5: 17) Every day we pray, but in the season of lent we should pray more. If it’s possible you can fast. “Fasting is the primary spiritual discipline that brings us back to our vulnerability. Fasting returns us to our deep dependence upon God, which is the fundamental posture of prayer.

Edgar was from Central Africa. He came to our house for a visit one day when I had scheduled a fast with my wife for the church and some issues in our family, we slept on the floor and prayed, we ate basic food and some days we didn’t eat, but Marcelline cooked a meal for us all. Edgar said to us, “Do you fast in America like we fast in Africa? This is not the time for me to fast because, I have everything here. Do not bring your African system of fasting here, I had done fasting in Africa, here it’s time for me to enjoy.”

Some Christians say, it is not time to do strong prayer and fast, Jesus had done that for us. Of course Jesus redeemed us but he asks the disciples for prayer so we can resist all temptation (Luke 22: 40-46). It’s time of prayer and fasting, so we skip the temptation of depression, suicide, and many wrong things that are unpure in the world. There are people in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons. What support do you show them if you do not pray for them? It’s the time of charity and care. (Luke 7: 11-17) The Lord saw her, his heart went out (compassion), it is the time of compassion. You can share the candy and give it to people, it’s good, or you can spend time in prayer by breaking your heart for others so that God can heal them and answer their prayers. I think that is good and we should be supporting others.

What do you give up when you fast? Someone told me, “Pastor, I do not eat chocolate. If I fast, I won’t eat chocolate.” I answered, “You need give up something you like very much. You turn your telephone off for a couple days or do something else, but do not give up something you don’t like, and when you do that, do not say anything to people, face your weakness and sacrifice privately between you and God.”

Rev. Sedar Wembonyama
Lansing UMC and Grace UMC New Albin

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