A sermon by Pastor Michael Pahl on March 24, 2019, the third Sunday of Lent, called “Come to God’s Feast!” It focuses on the theme of “repentance,” and it is part of our Lenten series entitled, “Blessed Hunger, Holy Feast.”
Here is a written excerpt:
Jesus’ call to repentance is indeed a call to “deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him.” But this “self-denial” is not a denial of our humanity; it is not a denial of the good desires God created within us. Rather, it’s a denial of the self-centred way in which we try to fulfill those good desires. Repentance is a turning away from all our harmful words and actions generated by those desires disordered by our selfishness.
But as we “deny ourselves” like this, Jesus says, we will experience true “life,” full and “abundant life” together. This is what he means when he says, “Those who lose their life will find it.” We discover our true humanity, including our natural human desires, re-ordered and re-imagined around love of God and love of neighbour, and so we experience life as God intended it.
Jesus’ call to repentance is indeed an invitation, then. It is an invitation into a sacred space of love, of liberty, of flourishing life. It is an invitation to God’s lavish feast of love, God’s rich banquet of infinite mercy and grace.
And this invitation is still open to us today.