Thursday, March 13

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Planting Embers

II Timothy 1:3-7

6:00 to 7:00 tonight will be our second gathering for our Lenten Study.  Each session will be a ‘stand alone’ conversation so you don’t have to worry about missing anything from last week.  I hope you will join us in the sanctuary for a time of prayer and Lenten study.  We will focus on the readings we have shared together since Monday of this week.  Quality child care is always available.

Have you watched any of the survival programs that are popping up on reality TV?  Not Survivor the game show, but I am thinking about the Survivor Man sequence where a lone individual goes out in the wilderness with no provisions for a week or two.  At some point in the process the key challenge will be creating a fire out of nothing.  Matches and petroleum based fuel are not allowed.  So the process reverts back to ancient practices of creating a spark or using friction to generate an ember.

Once a tiny warm glowing ember is developed it is placed in a hand held bed of dry grass or slim shavings while the survivor gently blows on the tender and fleeting possibility of a flame.  Ultimately a bit of smoke begins to arise just before the tinder bursts into flame.

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In that moment, there is always a smile that accompanies the sheltered placement of the tiny flame beneath more fuel that has been faithfully gathered and diligently prepared.  Finally there is warmth, boiling water, and a strange kabob of some kind for dinner.

The Apostle Paul was writing to his young friend Timothy with some tender instructions about his faith. “Fan into flame the gift of God!”  It was a faith that started with Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice.  Finally the breath of God was fanned into flame through the laying on of hands by Paul himself.  Those relationships began to burn bright in Timothy’s life so he would have a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.

I am wondering what new embers of faith God is planting in your life right now.  I am imagining the breath (the Spirit) of God bringing a small spark into full flame.  Are there some places in your life where your previous relationships are paying dividends?

Lent is a time of invitation.  The call is to draw close, listen to the Lord, and to take the next step of faith.  Fan into flame the gift of God in your life!

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