Second Sunday of Lent
What do you need to do spiritually during the Lent? As Lent begins on Wednesday (02/14/2024), it is the time for reflection, penitence and self-examination. Now is the acceptable time. Search your own heart:
Make this Lenten season a time when you determine to make each day count (use My Lenten Activity Journel-2024). Resolve to follow some new path (for you) or renewed spiritual practice during the next six weeks, so that when you celebrate the resurrection, you will see that you have indeed changed between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Now is the time to renew your prayer and meditative practices. Perhaps there is a devotional book that you wanted to read for some time now. Pick it up and get started. Set aside five minutes a day for spiritual reading, meditation, and prayer. Maybe the time will grow into something longer, but it is best not to set goals that are so high they lead quickly to failure. For once, set a goal you know you can accomplish, and move ahead with joy, rather than with a sense of desperate obligation.
Now is the time to renew your practices of service in the name of Christ, where you have sensed the call to serve others? Is there a place where the hungry are fed, the poor are clothed, the homeless are housed, the aged are cared for, the young are attended to, the sick are made well? What is God calling you to do? Now is the time.
Now is the time to attend to the poverty in your own soul. It is the time for searching, for self-examining, for letting God into the chambers of your heart that you prefer to keep hidden. Where have you not received or offered forgiveness? Where have you been hurtful, critical? In what ways have you disappointed yourself and God?
Now is the time for change, for reconciliation. As the season of Lent returns this year, let it return to you as a new opportunity for growth. Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation. Let now be the time for you to be renewed in your faith.
Peace and Blessings! Amen
Rev. Dr. Christopher Ponnuraj, Minister
The gospel passage for this second Sunday in Lent is St. Mark 8:31-38, in verse 34 we read, “And when he had called the people to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” I have read many commentaries and explanations for this verse. Some suggest this act is talking about giving up things for God.
To understand what Jesus was saying, you must first see this verse in the context of this chapter and understand the cultural context: that is, to see what the cross meant to the people in the days of Jesus. In the verses 31-33, Jesus had made it very clear that His path will lead to self-denial and suffering and to a cross. When Jesus is talking about self-denial and suffering, He’s basically calling His disciples to follow in His steps in suffering for His cause of establishing the Kingdom of God.
Culturally, the cross in the days of Jesus was not pretty jewelry around their necks; rather it was an instrument of torture, suffering and death. The point is, Jesus was laying out the realities for those who aspired to follow Him. It would involve two things: First, it would require denying self. To deny yourself means to turn from self-centeredness and every attempt to orient your life by your own self-interests. It’s to follow wholeheartedly the will of God, even if it means great sacrifice and hardship. VIEW THE ENTIRE SHORT SERMON
Peace and Blessings!
Rev. Dr. Christopher Ponnuraj, Minister
We are saddened by the death of
Ms. Charlotte Johnson on January 20, 2024.
She leaves behind her four living children:
Cindy, Sally, Daniel, and Brian and their families.
Her eldest son Scott passed away in June 2023.
Condolences messages may be sent to:
Sally Conrad, 118 Valley Rd. Katonah, NY 10536 firstname.lastname@example.org
or Cindy Johnson-Boka Cindy@pulsarnet.com
Your donations help us to continue with our Missions during these trying times!
Mail a check or make a donation through your online banking service.
Make the donation to: West Center Congregational Church
101 Pondfield Road West Bronxville, NY 10708
Church Office: 101 Pondfield Road West,
Bronxville, NY 10708
Phone: (914) 337-3829