Based on Based on Amos 5:18-24
This week’s Meditation is inspired by a sermon preached in 1992 by the legendary Bishop John Hurst Adams – a family friend and mentor who was called from labor to reward a few weeks ago after more than a half century of pastoral and Episcopal service in and beyond the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Bishop Adams recounted the Scriptural story of two blind men who followed Jesus, hoping that He’d restore their sight – which He did. He marveled at the fact that those two men – who could not see – followed Jesus, and he then shared a simple but profound realization: “They didn’t follow a man that they could see – they followed power that they could feel.”
I share that story with you on Ash Wednesday 2018 – the beginning of the Lenten season of prayerful and sacrificial reflection that leads up to the Easter celebration of the crucified and resurrected Christ. I do so in a time when many of those who call themselves “Christian” have lost sight of the essential mission, ministry and power of Jesus the Christ.
Some “evangelical” Christians have politicized their religion and now support an amoral and dangerous President of the United States because he supports their punitive and vengeful agenda. Some Christians now blithely embrace dubious “preachers,” who put personal prosperity ahead of the need to make disciples and to stand up for those whom Jesus called “the least of my children.”
The Lenten season should be more than a time to symbolically “give up” something for a month and a half, only to go back to business as usual after Easter Sunday. The Lenten season is an excellent time for personal spiritual examination – to make sure that you’re serving the Christ of the Gospels and not simply serving your self-interests.
Take the time during this Lenten season to examine your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ and to make sure that you’re in step not with a Christ you’ve only heard about and read about, but the Christ Whose Spirit you can feel – the Christ Whose Holy Spirit should govern your daily thoughts, words and deeds.
When you do, you’ll go beyond “Holy Ghost aerobics” on Sunday mornings. You’ll carry the good news to those in need, reach out to and rescue those cast aside by the “self-righteous” of today and see that grace, mercy and justice are blended together and vigorously advocated to better the lives of all of God’s children.
twYou’ll do so thanking the Lord Jesus for blessing you, opening doors for you, fighting your battles and giving you a new sense of purpose and a new appreciation for the Gospel song that goes beyond physical images and popular renderings of our Creator to say, “Yes God is real, for I can feel Him in my soul.”