Hello friends! How are you all this week? Have you ever noticed that often when that question is asked, it is common for the "asker" to not even wait for a response from the "askee", indicating that perhaps the answer doesn't really matter. Well, I want you to know that your answer DOES matter to us. So today I ask you - caring deeply about the answer - how are you? In fact, a better way perhaps to ask that we've often used in our morning LifeGroup meetings may be - how is it with your soul today? I sincerely love to hear what is going well in your lives, what may be challenging right now, and sometimes on Sunday mornings it isn't so easy to fit all that in. So feel free to comment below, email me or drop me a PM on Facebook and let's talk about how it is with your soul.
In fact, today is a great time to ask that question because, as I mentioned during the message on Sunday, today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period (not counting Sundays) leading up to Easter. These 40 days are typically set aside as a time for self-examination and self-reflection. In fact, this 40-day period is intended to represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring temptations from the enemy and preparation for His ministry. What a great time to be studying the Book of James? These writings are certainly meant to lead us all to some serious introspection and self-examination as we've seen over the past 5 weeks!
During the time James wrote his book, in the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. This leads me to an exciting thought about how we could be thinking in the same way. In the recent past, we haven't typically offered an opportunity for baptism outside of our annual summer church BBQ. But this year we'd like to change that. If you have never had the opportunity or taken the step to be baptized, or if you are unsure if you were baptized as an infant and you'd like an opportunity to reaffirm your baptism, that's important to us and we want to know.