Summary: An Ash Wednesday sermon, that encourages to learn from the gentle Jesus.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERMON
Ash Wednesday is a bit like a reminder phone call.
The alarm going off for an early wakeup call,
or the mark on the calendar or diary indicating that something important is coming soon
and we need to prepare for it.
Ash Wednesday is the start of us preparing for Easter.
We take time out tonight
not just for fellowship with each other.
But to begin remembering why we need Easter!!
Why we need Jesus Christ,
to act on our behalf,
to die for us.
Of course we should be doing this every day.
Which can be helped by daily devotions and bible studies.
However it often slips to the back of our mind.
And we think and act as if other things are more important in our lives.
Do you know how to do a quick check on what is important to you?
Have a look at where you spend your time and your money.
Look at your credit card statements, your check books, your diaries, your calendars.
So beginning today and throughout Lent we go on a journey,
a trip with Jesus.
This will be a trip that we will experience in worship tonight, and also in the daily walk’s with God that appear in the Bulletin and in the Lenten Bible Studies.
It will be a trip that will eventually lead us with Jesus to the cross.
Lead us to Jesus’ death and then lead also to His resurrection.
The event that makes a huge difference for me and you.
As we journey with Jesus beginning tonight and continuing in our Lenten Bible Studies,
we will have a chance to know him better
and we will also get to know a bit more about ourselves and who we can be.
Like any good trip, with other people, we will be connecting more closely to Jesus and how he relates to us.
The Apostle Paul is one of those who had a committed relationship to Jesus.
Some years after Jesus’ death and resurrection the Apostle Paul described some of the characteristics of a Christian, when he outlined the fruit of the Spirit.
These are characteristics that to a greater or lesser degree, appear in our lives, as a result of each of us being touched and influenced by the Holy Spirit.
Listen to God’s word to us from Galatians 5, reading from verse 22.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Now these fruits are also evident as we go on the Lenten journey with Jesus.
You see these fruits,
were not something developed in a committee or a meeting.
These fruits come directly from God.
They are how God relates to each of us.
The fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the way God wants the world to know Him.
So Jesus is the perfect example of how such fruits can be seen in all Christians.
Tonight we begin with the fruit of gentleness.
Being gentle is not a characteristic many people, especially leaders like to be known for.
Often we think of a gentle person as someone weak, someone too timid.
Occasionally you hear that if someone is to make a good leader they will need to toughen up.
But we follow a gentle leader.
A leader who has achieved much for us.
A leader who stood up to the devil,
We fellow Jesus,
who has a reputation for being gentle,
especially to people in need.
Charles Wesley even wrote a hymn that begins,
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…look upon this little child.
And with His disciples Jesus displays this gentleness.
Listen to John 1:1-17….
13 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.