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Ash Wednesday
 

  "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Matthew 4:4  .

 
 

Ash Wednesday Sermon Excerpt...

The Cross of Ashes
a sermon based on various Scriptures
by Rev. Melinda Harwood

Today is Ash Wednesday: the first day of the penitent season of Lent. The accurate name is "The Day of Ashes” not "Ash Wednesday". The reference to ashes comes from the ceremony of placing ashes on the forehead in the shape of the cross as a sign of penitence. Pope Gregory I, who was Bishop of Rome 7th century A.D, introduced this custom.

Gardeners know that ashes can be used to help grow plants. But basically ashes are worthless. In fact they are often less than worthless - they are a hindrance and a liability. You can't make ashes pretty by painting them, and you can't make ashes smell good by spraying perfume on them. Ashes are just ashes. . . .
 

The Meaning of Lent, Mat. 4:1-11, et al, by HW in HI

This is the first Sunday of Lent. Our church looks a little different today. If you look for our Paschal Candle – that’s the candle we light for Easter and for Baptisms – if you look for the Paschal candle, you will not find it. The Baptismal font is gone. There are no flowers behind the altar.

This is Lent. A special time in the church year when we spend a little time thinking about the great sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying on a cross. When we spend a little more time praying. When we spend a little more time reading the Bible. When we do a little more for others. Lent comes from the Old English word for Spring – Lenten. It lasts for the 40 days before Easter. We use forty days because Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness.

Jesus was baptized and he headed for the hills. He took off by himself for the wilderness, and spent 40 days alone without food. Here on the Big Island, we are probably in the best place in Hawaii to imagine what that was like. Tthere is not much wilderness left in the world. But perhaps we can imagine him taking off for Waipio Valley, and emerging 40 days later, exhausted.

People sometimes talk about the spiritual wilderness. Those times in our lives when we can’t find God... Subscribers: click here for full manuscript
 

 
Lent - Turning Weaknesses into Strength
by Frank Schaefer
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

What was St. Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh?
Paul doesn't come clean about it. He keeps it a secret. However, one thing is sure, that he was really concerned about this issue. It continually distracted him. He begged God at least twice that we know of to take it away from him.
Some scholars say, it was a disease, sickness, which kept him from serving God, some say, it was a recurring sin or temptation he found himself giving into again and again. And some scholars have argued that Paul may have been gay, bisexual or transgender. Whatever it was this weakness was holding Paul back from complete devotion/commitment. There were so many things with which distracted him, as he mentioned in verse 10. But this weakness concerned Paul the most...

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