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The Art of Worship: Lent

Lent | March 2, 2022 – April 16, 2022

During Lent we think about our lives. Our testimony of the healing power of grace and love can be a big help to others in comprehending this gift. Perhaps you have a story from serving with ministries of the church, one who was loved and accepted and served, even while feeling unworthy of such a gift. These stories are ways of letting folks know that grace abounds and still has the power to change lives.

My “Year of which we do not speak” was followed by a long, arduous road of recovery, humbleness, and trust in God. I was tired, broken, and still had to face FEMA, insurance adjusters, architects, contractors, my neighborhood association, county government, the bank, and even argue with the Red Cross. I was trudging along in faith, but found myself exhausted of being “one of the houses that burnt down”. All three of us just wanted to be normal, in the background, unknown people. My church was very supportive and sent me to an Emmaus Walk right here in Albuquerque. For one glorious weekend, surrounded by strangers, I could finally be the unknown, in the background person with no one knowing who I was, or what had happened. However, in true God fashion, a speaker stood up and started talking about Piety. She spoke about being true to who you are and owning your circumstances. That God can and will use your unique story for His glory. I finally understood the pain, and suffering endured would create empathy for others in pain, those who are angry and feeling out of control of their own destiny. The Creator of the universe would use my brokenness to help others know Him. I had to look clearly into my own mess of a life and know whose I was, that He was present, taking care of my every need. Just as Isaiah 61:3 speaks of the mourners of Zion, God provided beauty from that big old pile of ashes in my life. He gave me joy instead of mourning, and peace despite my despair. I learned to trust my unknown future to the all-knowing God.

Life on earth is fragile, and we make so many mistakes. As we brace ourselves for the Lenten journey to the cross, may you find yourself in prayer.  May you listen to the voice that says, “Neither death, nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39). May you find yourself transformed more and more into the image of Christ each time you tie your shoes and agree day by day to deny yourself, to take up you cross, and to follow the Suffering Servant, the Beloved Son.

Take time to look carefully inward and prepare for Lent and a journey inward.

Melanie Amend

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