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Pastor of Morrow Presbyterian Church
John V. Callahan Jr.
The Pastorís Pen
Read Deuteronomy 32:11-12 and Hebrews 12:3-11
I hate commercials.I donít mind watching them during the Super Bowl, because I like to see what companies come up with, but otherwise I hate them.
I endure them not only on the TV but also on the Internet.If I want to watch a video on YouTube, I have to wait 30 seconds for the commercial to run its course.Sometimes they give a 5-second option in a rectangular box at the lower-right corner.The "clockĒ counts down from 5 to 0, and then the rectangle says that I can ďSkip the Ad.ĒI always click that option, when it appears.Also, there are commercials for apps now!I like to play three puzzle games, which I downloaded free from the App Store, and they insist on putting up commercials from time to time.Again, I might have the option to skip them, or else I have to tolerate the 30-second to 45-second interruptions.I hate commercials.I would like to skip every one of them altogether.
It dawned on me once, while I was rolling my eyes at yet another commercial, that companies are trying to get our attention.They have something to say, whether we need to hear it or not, and they believe so strongly in their messages that they inundate us with them.They broadcast them on the TV and the Internet, on ďfreeĒ apps, in magazines, and on billboards.Even during the last Super Bowl, companies spent $5 million for a 30-second chance to get our attention and convince us of their all-important messages.Some people are more susceptible to them.I admit that once in a blue moon a commercial will catch my attention and I feel the need to investigate.
God is also trying to get our attention.God is always trying to tell us something, always trying to show us something.God has grace and love to share.God has a path for us to walk and spiritual disciplines to practice as we walk.God is trying to attract us to Him, and we need to pay attention.Godís message is way more vital, way more life-giving, than any commercial could be.
Lent is one time that we have to pay closer attention to God.God doesnít speak only during Lent, but Lent puts us in frame of mind to listen and grasp Godís messages.We set aside this time several weeks before the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we take seriously what Christís sacrifice means to us whom are broken and lost.We need a Savior.We need a Savior to clean us from our sin and renew our bodies from death and destruction.During Lent this message becomes so much clearer to us.The practices of giving up something or taking on something make the messages of salvation much plainer, and we are able to understand that God is willing to rescue and restore us.
We do a little more personal reflection, a little more worshipping and reading, a little more praying and devotional activity.We find that we can hear God more clearly.We find that we can see God more plainly.The messages are coming through with little static or interruption.
We could probably do without commercials, but we cannot do without Godís advertisements of love and grace.We donít roll our eyes at Godís messages.We donít want to skip over them.Let God speak and speak every moment of the day.During Lent let us pay closer attention and receive what God has to offer.