As we enter the season of Lent, we explore together two important biblical narratives about being tested in the desert -- the Israelites from the Old Testament, and Jesus in the Gospels. How do these stories frame our understanding and experience of the next 40 days leading up to Easter? How might they help us navigate the difficulties of life in general?
What Makes the World Go ‘Round?
Short answer: Sacrifice.
People will flippantly answer, “Money!” Money makes the world go ‘round. But money is way toward self preservation and security. Mammon is a god. But the real difference maker is sacrifice. Sacrifice is counterintuitive to a power-driven selfish world. But sacrifice is the answer. And that is why Jesus is still the most influential person in human history. Lent will ask all of us to sacrifice our time and attention to pay attention to our souls. It is time to reflect on our level of selfishness and reflect on our grasp of God-shaped world – do we see the hand of God everywhere we go? Do we have the eyes, hands, voice of Jesus?
Short answer: “one personal, relational God.”
The Hebrews are the first to say the Shema: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” Deuteronomy 6:4 The Bible is not a history book nor a science book, although it contains history and science. The Bible is one people’s story of their relationship with the one God. Then with Jesus, it is revealed that the Jews’ story is actually all of our story. In better sense, theology is not a science of God, but rather the story of God and humanity. Also, Numbers 11 demonstrates the personal g-d of the Hebrews – and in very trashy relationships. Practical application: how to choose a translation.
We study the Seven Churches of Relevation to see what this book might mean to Lakeland Community.