Pastor's Newsletter Article March 2019


Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Concerning Almsgiving

6 “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Concerning Prayer

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Concerning Fasting

16 “And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Concerning Treasures

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Greetings Marshall and Little Cedar Lutheran Churches,

 

Our reading on Ash Wednesday is always from Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21. It speaks of three faith practices; praying, almsgiving, and fasting. We are instructed to NOT do these faith practices in public to receive recognition, but instead in secret so that we may be rewarded by God. Traditionally these are some of the faith practices that we focus on in Lent.

 

Over the centuries there have been quite the many faith practices that have been tried during Lent. Usually involving prayer, almsgiving, and fasting. Often times our faith practices during Lent are heavily influenced by culture and context. For example, now days a lot of faith practices have to do with technology. Many people may give up social media during Lent, or abstain from watching television.

 

My encouragement to you, is that you would make Lent a meaningful time for you. Make it a time in which you actively work to grow in a closer relationship to God. Do something that would help you to slow down and spend some time in God’s presence. Whatever that may be!!

 

Blessings during your Lenten Journey!    Pastor Jeremy

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