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Zion Baptist Church
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Monday, March 11 2019

Once again, this past Wednesday...I saw 'those' people, with the black ash on their foreheads in the shape of a cross.  For years, it seemed like mostly Catholics and some Protestants - but now, more and more people it seem to be observers of the day.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Holy Season, the season of Lent; the 40 days of Lent. 

“Forty” has long had spiritual significance for Jews and Christians in regard to preparation. Moses was with God for forty days and nights on Mount Sinai in preparation for receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). But the primary focus for Lent is on: Matthew 4:1-2, where Jesus is portrayed as fasting for “forty” days and nights; Mark 1:12-13, depicting Jesus as being led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for “forty” days; and Luke 4:1-2, telling of Jesus being led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to fast and to be tempted by the devil for “forty” days. Taking into consideration how Jesus prepared for his ministry, “forty” was determined to be the number of days his followers should use in preparing for Easter.

As Baptist, there is no mention of Lent from our pulpit.  There were no ashes to mark forheads.  There was no special prayer.  And yet, it amazes me to hear people vowing to one another, to give something up for this period of time.  So it made me wonder...

What would you give up for Lent?  

Some folks keep it simple - I'll give up coffee, or chocolates, or potato chips....though, few make it.   Some folks get a little deeper with it - I'll give up swearing, smoking, alcohol and various other minor addictions.  Some get biblical and vow to fast of cut certain things out of their diets and their lives.  And even amongst the true believers and the true believers of their own word...few succeed.  Then, I saw something on Facebook that struck me as a most satisfyingly doable proposal.  Instead of fasting from the ordinary...

  • Fast from hurting words and say kind words
  • Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude
  • Fast from anger and be filled with patience
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope
  • Fast from worries and trust in God
  • Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity
  • Fast from pressures and be prayerful
  • Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy
  • Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others
  • Fast from grudges and be reconciled
  • Fast from words and be silent so you can listen

Supposedly, these are the words of the Pope (not sure which one!) and whether or not that is a true fact, the sentiment remains the same.  We would be more Christ-like if we could embrace positivity in our lives.  That is what God would want most of us.  

Confucius says: “When you have faults, do not be afraid to abandon them.”   

What would you give up for Lent?  Give up your faults, give them up and let the spirit of the Holy Ghost take over.

 Minister Cheryl Moore

Living Blessed!

Acts 5:12-16  (NKJV)

Continuing Power in the Church

12 And through the hands of the apostles
many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, 
but the people esteemed them highly.
14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,  15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow
of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.  16 Also a multitude gathered from
the surrounding cities o Jerusalem,
bringing sick people and those who were
tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

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Zion Baptist Church
4 Adams St Extension
Lynn, Ma 01902
PH:   (781) 595-0840
FAX:   (781) 595-5730

Rev. Dr. Kirk B. Jones, Pastor
Mary "Bunnie" Jones, First Lady

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