It’s the cold grey days that makes the warm sunshine most welcomed. In contrast it’s the long hot days that makes the cool breeze calm the soul. It’s the lonely days, months and years that will make the heart sing when the company of true love is found. In contrast, it’s the constant barrage of a passionate person wanting their needs met or insisting on their preferences first that will make being alone an oasis!
Gratitude is best nurtured when seeing your life from the context of the contrasts! When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior we begin to bask in the warm of His grace. But it is important to remember that Jesus is more than just our Saviour, He is to be our Lord as well. The proof of having comprehended His grace is the gratitude with which we live our lives, grateful enough to follow in His footsteps – not perfectly, but faithfully…persistently!
The Holiday of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and the ten days before can be a time to “afflict ourselves” (Num. 29:7), or “test yourselves to see whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5). If you want to see the contrast (context) in which the Day of Atonement was born read Leviticus 16. Looking at our lives through the lens of Scripture about sin isn’t to communicate one day you’re saved and the next day you are not. This isn’t trying to communicate you must earn your salvation. But it is recognizing that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” This is a time to honestly ask yourself if you are living a life of grateful obedience to God or just indulging in His grace assuming “your constant indulgence in sin is forgiven anyway.”
Celebrating Yom Kippur means denying yourself of the regular routine (eating, working, playing) and spend some time asking yourself some hard questions. Once you and God through His word and prayer (the Holy Spirit) have determined just whose “script” you are following it’s time to celebrate (break the fast)!
Tonight we will meet at 5:30 at the TLCC pavilion and have a hot dog roast, discuss a New Testament meaning of Yom Kippur and watch the movie “Jonah”. The challenge is to fast until tomorrow after church. Then together we will have a pot-luck “breakfast” celebrating God’s grace! If possible tomorrow for church wear white to celebrate God’s redemption. Jesus sacrifice.