This is the first Sunday of Lent. Our church looks a little different today. If you
look for our Paschal Candle thats 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 canít find God. For many of us these times happen when loss or
disaster hit our lives. When a dearly loved relative or friend dies, this often
leaves us wondering where God is...
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