Fasting and Treasure
by Rev. Lance Armstrong O’Donnell, Pastor
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
Van Wert, Ohio
Ash Wednesday (noonday)
25 February, A.D. 2009
Joel 2.12-19; 2 Pet 1.2-22; Mt 6.16-21
CCT: Jesus Christ is the true Treasure, the source and center of our devotion, and the object of our fasting.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” We are learning that lesson the hard way--again--in this country right now. All of us are effected. Job losses, pay and benefits cuts, forced retirements, losses of value. In many and various ways the Lord is teaching us that we all--in certain ways and to certain extents--misplaced our trust.
Now we are tightening our belts, discovering again the difference between a want and a need. So, for me, as for many of you, I suspect that Lent has come at just the right time. Have you misused or even venerated your earthly “treasures”? Repent! Repent; that is, confess your sin--your rebellion against God--and receive the treasure of Christ’s forgiveness. For throughout this Lent and at the end of this Lent and throughout our days we remember the supreme expression of God’s love in the vicarious atonement of his Christ. The Perfect One offerred the Perfect Sacrifice on our behalf that day-by-day (Yes, today!) we may be renewed by Him and in and through Him offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise that is our fasting.
Yes, we fast. Not for earthly reward but in humility to be reminded--day after gloriously troublesome day--of the heavenly reward: Christ.
Do not be afraid, dear Baptized. Your are His, and He is risen! Remember, this Lent, that [CCT:] Jesus Christ is the true Treasure, the source and center of our devotion, and the object of our fasting.