Summary: During Lent we prepare ourselves in silence to making a greater effort to become more Christlike.
A Life of Discipline: Lent 2010
Feb 21, 2010
Here are some faces that might be familiar to you – who can tell me who they are? (Alexandre BILODEAU (Freestyle Skiing - Men's Moguls, GOLD), Jennifer HEIL (Freestyle Skiing - Ladies' Moguls, SILVER), Maelle RICKER (snowboard cross, GOLD)).
Ok, so hands up for all the people that think these people were casual, weekend visitors to the local ski bump? How many people think that these people were couch potatoes who like to lay around eating chips and dip, drinking cola all day long? How many people here think that they decided on a whim to enter this little sporting event in Vancouver in 2010 called “the Olympics” and just for fun see what happened? Ridiculous questions, yes? Of course!
Ok, so here is a serious question: who won the Gold medal in Freestyle Skiing – Moguls, in 1988 in Calgary? Aha, trick question, moguls were just a demonstration sport in Calgary… the first year medals were given out for freestyle skiing – moguls was in 1992, in Albertville. So who won then? Well the men’s winner was Edgar Grospiron (FRA), the women’s winner was Donna Weinbrecht (USA). I can’t believe most of you didn’t know that!
Paul on Sport:
The Apostle Paul would probably like my two sets of questions, because he answers the spirit of them both in 1 Cor. 9:25-27: “25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
Welcome to Lent:
Today marks the first Sunday in the season of Lent, which is our journey of preparation to celebrate the victory over sin and death that comes with the empty tomb of Jesus on resurrection Sunday. Lent is the 40 days which Christians for many hundreds of years have set aside to pay particular attention to our way of living as God’s adopted children, to focus our energies on our spiritual life in Christ, so that when we arrive at resurrection Sunday we can do so in freedom, anticipation, and full preparation to worship and adore the Risen Lord. Lent officially began this past Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, which is historically a day set aside for reflection and repentance, and I trust that many of you took some extra time on Wednesday to do that. That same theme has guided our worship service today, as you no doubt noticed.
God’s Part and Ours in Powerful Christian Living:
Lent is, without apology, a season where I invite and challenge us to greater effort in pursuit of Christlikeness. But immediately, that very phrase “greater effort” sparks some alarm bells in some of us, some resistance. We hear about “effort” in our spiritual lives, and it takes us in three directions: