A Message From Our Pastordolentgenerously

On February 10, we will be having an Ash Wednesday Service. Ash Wednesday
marks the beginning of Lent, or the 40 days of preparation before Easter. For many
Christians it is a time of quiet contemplation about life and death. For others it may include the practice of fasting or giving up food. The purpose of these 40 days is to identify with Jesus Christ’s temptation in the wilderness and draw you closer to his call of self-denial. (Matthew 4:1-2).

But Lent doesn’t always involve the absence of food. This past weekend during the
snow storm, Doug and I were invited by Edgar and Joe Miller to help out down at the
homeless shelter at New Story UMC. Usually guests arrive at 7:30pm for a hot meal
and a place to sleep for the night. All the guests head out at 6:30am in the morning
with a bagged lunch in hand. Since there was a snow storm, the staff at New Story
prayerfully decided to keep the doors open all day as well. This required more volunteers than normal to help out during the day.

Edgar called us up on Friday morning around 6:30am and left a message, “Do you
want to experience a blessing today?” That is code word for Edgar to offer us a job
we couldn’t resist. We are so glad we, along with many of you, responded. Doug and
I enjoyed fixing lunch and dinner, playing games, and building a puzzle with the
guests. We could have been settled in the warmth of our own home. But instead we
were gathered around the table with friends of Jesus.

I want to challenge you to make every meal count during Lent. Spend the next 40
meals with Jesus. Whether you volunteer to feed our friends at New Story, take a
meal to a home bound member or neighbor, pack a water bottle and snack for those
who greet you on the street, invite or sit with someone new at our fellowship
meal, or simply pray for someone before you have your family meal, think about
ways in which you can share a table with Jesus for the next 40 days of Lent. When
you spend 40 meals with Jesus, you will truly receive a blessing!

Dining With Jesus,
pastormarymiller

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