A theological post invoking thought and reflection. Delivered in a spoken word style, we look at biblical teachings, stories, and routines to help create a positive weekly attitude for all who read it.  Posted weekly on Thursdays 

Yesterday marked the beginning of lent. A time of sacrifice, of letting go of earthly pleasures and allowing ourselves to be filled with the peace, hope and joy of the Lord.

It is a humble sacrifice between us and God.

It is often a challenging sacrifice, one that prompts us to reflect on where we have been putting our time, energy or hope.

But it is a rewarding sacrifice.

One that draws us into the goodness of God.

Most practices of giving up and letting go of earthly treasures have this effect.

A humble donation of finances or time.

Vulnerability for the sake of friendship.

A dedication of our lives to service.

Sacrifice requires that we give up treasures, areas of abundance where we can easily put our hope.

This act of giving opens doors for Christ to move.

As we practice generosity, we are brought into fullness of life.

As we sacrifice, as we let go of our earthly pleasures, we allow ourselves to be filled with the peace, hope and joy of the Lord.

Would our lenten sacrifices inspire us to practice letting go in other areas of our lives as well.

H. Janzen 02/18/21

Generosity does not come from our own strength.

Rather generosity is properly practiced through imitating Christ’s generosity towards us.

His generosity as he blesses us with spiritual gifts, with physical assets and with encounters of His presence.

“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 5:8b) Jesus asks of us.

Receiving leads to giving.

But in order to give well, we must also learn to receive.

We must recognize that we do not understand all that there is to understand, or possess all that there is to possess.

Receiving well is an act of humility, an act of recognizing the ways that Christ has blessed those around us and of recognizing our own areas of need.

It is honouring the blessedness of the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3).

As we learn to receive and to give, a cycle of Christlike generosity begins.

Each of us recognizing our blessings and our needs,

Each of us humbly accepting and offering up our gifts from Christ.

H. Janzen 01/27/21

In the shadow of extravagant gifts,

A poor widow offers God all that she has.

While her culture deems her worthless,

Jesus lifts her as an example to us all.

(Mark 12:41-44)

 If we look closely, Jesus teaches us through a poor woman:

That we all have the power of generosity in us,

That the value of a gift is what it costs the giver to give,

That our Father provides what we need,

That how we give always matters more than how much,

That giving is good for us, more than it is good for God.

 

Do I offer my faded coat, or my favourite one?

Do I give to impress my friends, or because I overflow with Christ’s love?

Do I expect a return someday, or open my hands freely?

 

Worthless and forgettable in the eyes of the rich,

A poor widow inspires me to give from the deep wealth God has given each of his children.

K. Carter 02/03/21

Cold hands meet cold stares.

Begging from the steps of closed shops,

Packed into pest-infested rooming houses,

Curled on benches designed to keep them off,

Cold hands meet cold stares.

Suspicion. Disgust. Fear.

Indifference. Unspoken guilt.

Cold hands meet cold stares.

 

Like his parliamentarian neighbour,

A brave vagabond hungers for meaning.

How can I change this world?

What will I leave behind?

 

Warm breath is spent to fill multicoloured balloons.

Cold hands are exposed to securely tie them off.

An overlooked man decides to leave a legacy of joy,

His very own fight against cold stares and cold hands.

 

So that children walking by can kick them into the sky.

So that cars must stop and wonder how they got there.

So that Ottawa’s brown, slushy streets

Are adorned with brightly coloured surprises.

So that he is remembered in one place

As he leaves for the next.

 

What do we leave behind us?

What warmth has God given us to share with the world?

 

 

 

Kathleen J. Carter

 

02/11/21