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Sermon February 21, 2021

Boy Scout Sunday

Message by Eagle Scout Cole Hunt

 

 

Bethel Troop 164

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Henry County Methodist Fasting and Praying

February 17, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  United Methodist Churches in Henry County would typically share in Lenten Lunches, which included worship and lunch.  This year we are trying something new.  Our churches will practice the spiritual discipline of fasting throughout the 40 days Lenten season.  The instructional guide  below includes a daily scripture reading.  Instead of gathering for worship on Wednesday, we will view weekly video presentations presented by the clergy.  There will be a teaching led by one of the pastors followed by dialogue. The teaching and discussion will be about 30 minutes.  The first video will be available Wednesday, February 24.
 

Instructions for Fasting

 Step 1: Assessment

        What holds too much power in your life? What has authority over you that displaces other things? It can be different things for different people, but one of the primary reasons for fasting is to Re-order our lives after the example of Christ. Before you fast, take a moment to think about what you need to fast from. What is keeping you from a deeper relationship with Christ? What is keeping you from a deeper relationship with one another? Write it down and make a plan on how you are going to do this, and what way you are going to grow closer to God instead of giving time, money, and effort to this other thing.

Five helpful tips on how to fast

1) Tell people with whom you primarily interact with about your fast and how they can help. This is not the same as announcing it on social media, i.e. making a public spectacle of a religious practice. But, your fast isn’t only going to affect you. If you are fasting from eating meat, for example, you need to let people know you are going out to dinner with about it. It might even spark a conversation that can have a significant impact on their lives!

2) Remove the Temptations. To put it in terms of fasting from food, you would not go to dinner at your favorite restaurant if you cannot eat anything there. In almost everything in our lives, we have systems and machinations put in place to give us what we want. If you have notifications, automations, habits reinforced by a certain group of people, you might need to take a break from those things. Make it easier on yourself to succeed rather than view this as a punishment.

3) Journal, don’t count points. Fasting from food is not a diet plan, it is a spiritual practice utilized to spur spiritual growth. When we blur the lines of these things, we are missing the point of why we are fasting in the first place. Journaling is great because it is offering reflection on what you are doing, not counting the cost or benefits.

4) Have an exit strategy. A fast is not designed to last forever, but is instead a tool to reprioritize things in our lives. However, a hoped for outcome of fasting is not to go back to the way we always did things, but to undergo change and become more like Christ. So make a plan of what that will look like.

5) Dedicate to prayer and journaling. This will keep you focused and purposeful in your fast. So while it has become a trend to add something instead of taking something away, it is suggested that what you add is prayer and journaling, not something else when fasting is what we are trying to do.

STEP 2: Fast

February 17th: Luke 4:1-3

18th: Luke 4: 4-5

19th: Luke 4: 6-8

20th: Luke 4: 9-10

22nd: Luke 4: 11-13

23rd: Matthew 6: 16-18

24th: Luke 24: 36-37

25th: Luke 24: 38-39

26th: Luke 24: 40-41

27th: Luke 24: 42-43

March 1st: Acts 10:1-2

2nd: Acts 10: 3-5

3rd: Acts 10: 6-8

4th: Acts 10: 9-10

5th: Acts 10: 11-12

6th: Acts 10: 13-14

8th: Acts 10: 15-16

9th: Acts 10: 17-18

10th: Acts 10: 19-20

11th: Acts 10: 21-23

12th: Acts 10: 24-26

13th: Acts 10: 27-29

15th: Acts 10: 30-31

16th: Acts 10: 32-33

17th: Acts 10: 34-37

18th: Acts 10: 38-40

19th: Acts 10: 41-43

20th: Acts 10: 44-46

22nd: Acts 10: 47-48

23rd: Psalm 63: 1-2

24th: Psalm 63: 3-4

25th: Psalm 63: 5-8

26th: Psalm 63: 9-11

27th: Acts 11: 1-3

29th: Acts 11: 4-6

30th: Acts 11: 7-10

31st: Acts 11: 11-14

April 1st: Acts 11: 15-16

2nd: Acts 11: 17-18

3rd: Mark 2: 18-20

EASTER

Step 3: Reflect

 Write down what you learned from this experience, and have a conversation with your small group about what has changed about the priorities in your lives.

 

Congratulations to Noah Duncan, Jada Wilkerson and Gabrielle Williams!  

 

LENTEN STUDY

Because of This I Rejoice: Reading Philippians During Lent

 

Join in this Lenten Study with your Sunday School Class, Small Group or Friend.  Because of This I Rejoice  is a six week study.  We will start Ash Wednesday,  February 17 and conclude Holy Week in celebration of Easter.  The book can be found in the local library, Cokesbury, Upper Room, Christianbook.com, and Amazon.  

 

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