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Cross of Glory Lutheran Church

95 Cambridge Drive

Aberdeen, New Jersey 07747

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       Glimpses of Glory from The Rev. Dr. Leigh W. Pezet, Pastor    

"A Pastoral Message for Lent" - February 2021

Pretend a person who had very little exposure to Christianity and the church asked you the question, “What is Lent?” How would you answer? What would you say in order to answer in a concise and thoughtful way? Here is what I would say about this season of the church year we have just begun in preparation for Holy Week and Easter. Lent is about rediscovering God and uncovering our true selves before God. And I believe we do that by setting aside the fig leaves we have been hiding behind. Just about all of us have a whole collection of fig leaves. 

In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve are featured sewing fig leaves together to create makeshift garments to wear. They do this when their eyes are opened and they discovered themselves as being naked before God and one another. Adam and Eve’s predicament is clearly evident. God has come in search of them and calls out for them, “Where are you?” The answer, “I heard… I was afraid...I was naked...I hid...I ate…” 

Dr. Walter Brueggemann wrote a commentary on this section of Genesis and pointed out , “Their former attentiveness to God’s call and to God’s directives has been relinquished. Now the preoccupation is I. Now the central focus of life is not God’s will but me.” Trying to protect themselves from the reality of this truth, they hid behind fig leaves. 

The experience of Adam and Eve has also become the experiences of each of us. We are Adam. We are Eve. We have sinned and are culpable before God. But rather than succumb to  the temptation to hide behind fig leaves, we can use the occasion of Lent to make sure that the masked truth of who we are can be acknowledged before God, and then be transformed by God’s grace. 

What fig leaves are you hiding behind? What are the things in your life you need to change or let go of; in order to be clothed again in the white garment of grace? Think about it. Perhaps it is a failure to think before you speak, or leave unsaid those words that might offend other people. Perhaps it is your inclination to be very controlling and want everything your way. Perhaps it is your always wanting to play the “blame game” and finger point. Or maybe it is your unwillingness to forgive others, or yourself. The call of Lent is for us to stand naked in truth before ourselves and God. 

In that story from Genesis, which is full of meaning, the serpent, with his slick cunning words plants doubts in the mind of the woman. He contradicts God and suggests options for Adam and Eve that are outside the options God had stated— and they choose them. After that, the serpent disappears. Its work is done, but humankind will forever live with the consequences of mistrusting God. Even though humankind chose to listen to a voice other than God’s God does not disappear from the story. 

On the contrary, God will come seeking out God’s people; offering forgiveness, grace, and ultimately redemption in the person and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

May you have a productive and fulfilling Lent. 

A Mighty Fortress is Our God, 

Rev. Leigh Pezet, Pastor


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