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Lent Reflections @ CEC: Second Sunday of Lent

Scripture context:

This particular passage of Scripture contains one verse that is known world-wide. People hold up signs at sporting events with it. Football players sometimes have the reference written on the anti-glare black stuff they put under their eyes when they play a game. It is a verse that draws people in ... in to the love of God for them, and for the whole world.

"For God SO (and that word actually doesn't just mean how much, but "in this way" - this is HOW God loved the world) loved the world that He gave is one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life."

What a BIG beautiful picture of the great love of God! And the next verse, John 3:17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Wendell Berry reminds us that God so loved the world, not just the humans, but the whole of his creation. to the beginning, when God said at each point in creation that what he had just made was good. And humans were VERY good.

This world, our bodies, all that we see around us in creation - we are meant to steward and care for. A BIG vision. A BIG call of God in our lives.

"Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing, how little in this hard world it takes to satisfy the mind. Within the ongoing havoc...."

In the middle of the chaos of life, the doctor appointments, the carpooling, the birthday parties, the joy and the pain ...

the woods are still, the sky is gray, the trees rise in silence.

Sometimes we take creation around us for granted. Sometimes we take people for granted. AND we underestimate the beauty and goodness of a kind word, a smile, a quick note of encouragement - those are both BIG and small. They seem small because they can be so quick, and don't seem earth-shaking or important. But they are BIG - because God uses those words to encourage people deeply, perhaps even changing the trajectory of someone's life. We don't know how God might use those encouraging words.

BIG or small ... both are beautiful. The BIG picture of everything God has done for us in Christ, and the small things that are pleasing and important- bring us joy as we take even a small moment to ponder God who so loved the world.

Karen Callis

lent booklet (2)
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