Fourth Sunday of Lent: Change within ourselves comes from the light of Christ, says New York City pastor
Believers around the world are celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Lent this weekend, March 19, 2023.
This special season of Lent is a time to reflect on how change is possible only in the light of Christ, Dr. Michael Keeler, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Lincoln Square, in New York Cityfor Fox News Digital.
“Many of us spend huge amounts of money trying to change our looks, our outlook, and our personality,” Keller said.
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“The desire for change is very American,” he said. “It is not clear how to achieve this.”
in pee Letter to the EphesiansThe Apostle writes: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light” (Ephesians 5:14).
“This clip is often used to encourage awakening and change,” Keeler told Fox News Digital in an interview. We believe [change] It is a process of will to try hard and strive.”
Keeler continued, “Imagine a boss trying to get you out of bed, saying, ‘Wake up, sleeper!'” Rise from the dead! “
He said, “But that’s not what Paul says here.”
In Biblical times, Keeler said, “there were no electric alarm clocks or lights”—and a person got up every morning with the sunrise.
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In the same way, Paul says the way to change, the way to wake up, is not basically through anything you do, but… Through the shining of Christ upon youHe completed.
Like waking up to sunlight, change comes naturally when we allow ourselves to enjoy beauty Jesus life and work.”
To illustrate the point, Keeler shared the story of Florence Chadwick, a legendary open water swimmer.
After successfully swimming the English Channel several times, Chadwick attempted to swim the distance between Catalina Island and California coast In July 1952.
“The weather was misty, the water cold, she couldn’t see the land, she couldn’t see her progress…defeated, she gave up, totally exhausted,” Keeler said.
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When Chadwick reaches the boat, she learns that she is not far from her destination.
But Keeler said “because she couldn’t see the shore, she didn’t know.”
“Two months later, I tried again in the exact same treacherous conditions—thick fog, cold water. But after 14 hours of swimming, I made it to shore,” Keeler said.
“When asked how she did it despite the fog, she said she kept the mental image of the coastline in her head.”
“In the comfort of His love we find the strength to change.”
Although the swimming conditions did not change, “what allowed her to continue to complete her work was that she had a vision of the beauty of the beach in her head,” Keller said.
As one begins to recognize the beauty of Jesus’ life and work, “this vision of beauty and relief stirs our imagination”—just as Chadwick manages to proceed to reach the shore.
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“If Chadwick didn’t ask for a change of circumstances to achieve her goal – she only needed to see the beauty of the coastline in her mind – imagine how we might change if The beauty of Jesus It shone on us,” he said.
He continued, “By reflecting on all that He has done for us, on the rest we find in Him, and on the love and service He has shown us, we can awaken from our slumber and be filled with energy for change.”
And Paul added in his Letter to the Ephesians that “when Jesus lights in this way, we can wake up from our sleep.”
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“Paradoxically, it is the comfort in his love that we find the power to change,” he said.
“Just as Chadwick keeps her mental image of the beach in her mind, we can also keep a vision of the beauty and love of Jesus.”