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Talking and Listening to God

Hello Gloria Dei,

During this season of Lent, it is important to look at the different markers of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. As Jesus travels to the cross, what does the journey of a Christ follower look like?

One of the important disciplines, or marks, of a Christ-follower is the gift of prayer.

You’ve heard me say before that the Christian faith is more a “relationship” than it is a “religion”. Religion often turns quickly into a set of do’s and don’ts. The Christian faith is about God taking the initiative to bring us back into full relationship with him, which then plays itself out in our relationship with others. Lists of do’s and don’ts are not bad things. We all need them and use them every day. They just can’t save us. Being in relationship with God through Jesus Christ – that brings salvation and meaning to our life beginning now and lasting forever.

A big part of being in relationship with someone, including God, is to talk and communicate regularly. Jesus teaches us to talk often and always with God, our loving “Abba, Father.” A life lived in constant conversation with the God who loves us brings about a rich experience of life. Like any intimate and loving human relationship, talking through the joys, struggles, and difficulties of life – celebrating together, laughing and crying together – asking for and receiving forgiveness, sharing everything. That makes life full and meaningful.

Through Jesus, God has given you that gift. You are a close friend of God. During this season of Lent, and throughout your life, talk with God about everything: those things that make you happy, those things that make you sad and angry. Share your whole self with God. And remember, prayer is a two-way street. It is not only us talking to God, but God talking to us. Listen to God as you read the Bible. Listen to God in your quiet times in nature. Listen to God through Christ-centered friends. Listen to God in worship, where you hear God’s word of life, love, and forgiveness. Listen to God as he meets you in the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It is God who gives your life its very purpose.

As you talk and listen to God, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God loves you.

A reminder that during our weekend services, we continue in the gospel of Mark. As Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem where he will die on the cross, he gets serious with the Scribes and Pharisees and tells one of his difficult and challenging parables, found in Mark 12:1-12.

Thanks for your partnership in ministry. See you in worship!

Pastor Tim

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