By on March 13, 2019.
Of Ember Days Renewal
Today is the first of THE LENTEN EMBER DAYS (BEING THE WEDNESDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AFTER THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT)—the second to last set before General Synod—by which we are called to honestly and fearlessly allow ourselves to be “put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution contained in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have, of a renewal of their repentance and faith.” (BCP, p612) That kind of renewal is the beginning of the Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada kind. It begins with us—you and me—before we go calling others to account. Good Lenten self-examination will honestly address the many temptations that come my way and yours. Last Sunday our priest at St Mary the Virgin, Canon Claude Schroeder, preached on the Temptation in the Wilderness in Matthew 4. He was kind enough to list eight thoughts that tempt: Gluttony, Fornication, Avarice, Sorrow, Despondency, Anger, Vainglory and Pride. He pointed out that such thoughts can pop into our minds unbidden. That they come is not a sin, but what we do with them can be. When they come, they pierce—a word with the same root as “tempt”—they get in amongst me where, if entertained and acted upon, they become sin and death for me. Sorrow, despondency, anger and pride can all be particularly gnarly and potentially sinful responses for me when it comes to people with whom I disagree and who I’m convinced are headed out from under the umbrella of Scriptural truth and are taking others who don’t know any better with them. So I examine self as carefully and honestly as I can. In doing so I hold up a divine mirror to try and get a glimpse through the weeds of my sin (Mt13.24-30) of the log in my own eye (Mt7.1-5). I repent (over and over again) and my repentance is renewed. I pray and fast. I read and meditate. In doing so I take up the shield of faith with which to extinguish and deflect the flaming darts of the evil one (Eph6.16) which pierce and tempt and will lead to sin and death if I let them. And my faith is renewed. Help us, Jesus! Gene+
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