40 Days of...Removal

Yesterday in worship, we explored another way of understanding Lenten Spiritual Practices. Many believers around the world practice Fasting during Lent. Many will take on a new spiritual practice to challenge themselves to break bad habits and make more room in their lives for God.

In Matthew 18, Jesus teaches that to enter into the kingdom fo heaven, we must be “humble like a child,” and he declares “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me,” then “Woe to you…Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks.”

In this teaching, Jesus is most concerned with the things that make us trip and stumble, the things we encounter in life that can keep us trapped in place, stuck where we are…or disconnected from God.

Perhaps this is a helpful way of conceptualizing what it is we do during Lent, and why we do it.

What is a stumbling block in your life? What is something that keeps you stuck where you are…disconnected from neighbor, Creation, or God?

Jesus himself says it’s normal and natural to have experiences of disconnection, moments of being “stuck.” He said, “Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!”

In our faith, we proclaim that everything comes from God, and all things will return to God. All roads can reconnect us with The Divine. But “woe” to us if we place stumbling blocks in anyone’s way. If we can help one another Remove or “give up” a stumbling block during Lent…so this Easter Morning we can be inspired to enter into New Life…we will be doing a great service for one another…and fo r the world.

So what is your stumbling block? How might you remove that stumbling block, or give it up for the next seven weeks in order to deepen your connection to God and all that God has made?

Brian Gruhn