Luke 18:9-149 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
This joyous email was sent to me ~ to share we are deeply committed to offering Jesus our lives, hearts, souls - we are flawed and fallen in sin. Jesus in His Grace, Power and Mercy lives to bring us God as our Joy and Strength. Nothing we could do would earn His Grace. Jesus is our Feast in our souls.
Thank You, Father, for this Morning's Service.
By Dr. Peter Leithart
Jesus' instructions about fasting:
He tells His disciples to fast with anointed heads and clean faces (Matthew 6:16-18).
Washing and anointing are normally preparation for feasting (Ruth 3:3);
they mark the end, not the beginning, of a fast (2 Samuel 12:20).
Jesus turns fasting inside out.
He wants us to dress for a feast when we're fasting,
dress for a feast when we are feasting,
dress for a feast for every occasion in between.
We can be allegoric: Jesus Himself is our festal clothing, His Spirit the oil anointing our head, baptism the water that cleans our faces. Whether fasting or feasting, we have this anointing and this washing. Fasting or feasting, we wear Jesus and His Spirit, our festal robe and light-giving oil.
But there's something else going on.
Jesus came to inaugurate the Feast of the Kingdom. That feast is still ahead of us! Jesus began the Feast of the Kingdom already here and now. The feast is future, and the feast is present. We do not have to wait for a joy already granted.
Our practice fasting should reflect the reality of the new covenant, the maturity we have reached in the risen Son. When we're children, there's a chasm between hunger and satisfaction, between suffering and glory, between losing and winning. As - if - we mature we learn to see a glimmer of success embedded in our failures, the glory of our sufferings, the joy in sorrow.
Jesus tells us to discover the feast in the midst of the fast, the fullness at the center of our hunger.
As you enter Lent, act the part of grownups: Wash your face; put on that pomade; let the joy of the Spirit fill your heart. The feast that is ahead has already begun, and it has invaded our fasting.
We are the Easter People! We Expect Jesus. Jesus is Here. Jesus lives, celebrates and strengthens us for all joy and all storm. Jesus has washed us with His needed Grace.
Our Savior our Hero.
And our Alleluia is present with us at all times. No one will ever earn the Grace of Jesus. Alleluia will be held in our hearts, even in silent expectation of God, with love, joy and hope - Jesus is alive.
We will only endure Good Friday, knowing the Fulfillment of Easter.
Jesus our Hero. And we will hold His Feast continually in our hearts, in all seasons. I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. Come be in my soul and in the ones we love.
Let us always remember Jesus telling us of His willingness and joy, from Christmas to the Feast of the New Covenant and in His Vast Forgiveness.
We will hold High Jesus in our Souls. Amen and Amen always in the Highest Name of Jesus.
Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
Jesus the Lord!