“Heart Defrag” Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

Business as Usual notIt’s not just any middle of the week Wednesday, go home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed, so we can get up and do business as usual again on Thursday.  Today is not business is usual, we are here to embrace the meaning of Ash Wednesday, a holy day set apart for God.  It is a sacred day as we begin Lent.  For the next forty days, not including Sundays; we will make a journey to the cross and open grave of Christ.

That forty day journey begins on this day as we stretch the Spirit of God within us, so we are better ready to step toward the cross and leap out in a resurrection.  Lent invites us to set aside excess baggage that slows us down.  Lent is a time to take inventory, so the Spirit is not prevented from its primary work; renewing the Spirit of God in us; allowing us to live more abundantly in our flesh on this side of heaven.

Lent is a time for our human self to be renewed by the Spirit of God that resides in us.  We gather on this night to consider how our mortality can be enlivened by the image of God stamped on all us.  We hope to create space for God’s Spirit to heal our anxieties, grudges, and failings that slow us down.  We are headed to a resurrection, but we must make crack open ourselves, so recreating power can work. Ashes Cross

Jesus mentions three spiritual disciplines: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, strange habits that are an affront to modern life.  These holy habits open us up to the Spirit.  The more we practice giving it away (almsgiving); seeking solitude and stillness (prayer); making spiritual nourishment a greater priority than physical hunger (fasting) the more open space we create for the Spirit to come alive in our own human flesh.

We apply ashes to remind ourselves that our best human efforts, (which can be quite good at times) are not sufficient, perfected, or immortal.  Ash Wednesday prompts us to remember we are spiritual persons; learning to be more of the human God created us to be. The best way to unleash the image of God already within us is to open ourselves up with a variety of spiritual practices, such as these Jesus mentions in the text.  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Our computer slows; causing us to think we could hand write faster.  Hard drives fragment; have senior moments.  Programs, files, and memory scatter in cubbies, and the hard drive has to run all over the place to get what it needs.  When it slows down, we run a disk defragmenter, which cleans up space so the computer can run smoothly again.  It takes a while to run defrag, but we can tell the difference afterwards.

DefragLent is a heart defragmenter.  It may take a time for the Spirit to work after we get so scattered.  If we will throw some things out, change some priorities, pull some things back together, and simplify our lives so God’s Spirit within us can change our heart from the inside out.  Lent is not a time of business as usual.  It’s begins today, Ash Wednesday; a time to make room for the Spirit of God within us to take over some things around and near us, so we are more resurrection ready when that day comes.

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Published in: on February 14, 2013 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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