During this year's Lenten season, I will be focusing on Christian practices. Christian practices are ways in which we participate in our faith, ways in which we embody our faith, and ways in which God reaches us. While we would never commit the works righteousness error and say that these ways of living by themselves make us holy, Christian practices have always been means by which faith is expressed, and the means by which we participate in the work God is doing both in us, and in the world. These holy habits are often called spiritual disciplines.
It's been said that excellence is a habit. This means that growth in life is often an accumulation of small impacts over time. Holy habits bring freedom in the way that piano practice brings freedom of expression to the pianist. Think about it, most of our life is shaped by very ordinary things, what we eat most often, the media we consume, the conversations we have with the people we see everyday. The question is never are we being formed, the question is always how are we being formed. Christian practices are an intentional way to see that our impact on the world, and the world's impact on us take place in holy ways.
I'll spend each Sunday delivering two short sermons. The first sermon will focus on the Scripture lesson of the day. These lessons will tell about the temptation of Jesus, and scenes from his last week in Jerusalem. The second sermon will explore how these stories lead us into Christian practices. We will look at Bible study, fasting, generosity, hospitality, testimony, and justice. While this isn't a comprehensive list of Christian practices, it's a good start.
Come join us in worship and use this time as a chance to get grounded in the basics. When people faithfully dig into these disciplines, good growth takes place. Make the most of Lent, and make the most of who God created you to be.