February 14, 2018 Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” vs. 1
This year we’re reminded that Ash Wednesday is for lovers…a day to remember the deep and intimate love relationship that exists between us and our Maker. Scripture tells us clearly that God’s love for us is unconditional and unconfined…it knows no boundaries and overcomes even our persistent sin. Our love for God is defined and shown by our piety, something that Jesus defines as fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. And just as cheating lovers try to cover up their unfaithfulness with romantic cards and showy bouquets, we can try to impress others with our external and shallow acts of devotion. We brag about our giving, prattle on with pointless prayers, and try to show our adoring public how much we love God. It’s the religious thing to do! But God is not impressed–and neither is anyone else! The world knows when we’re faking faith. Pious sounding politicians and two-faced religious leaders fool only their misguided and naive followers. True love, the self-giving kind we’re celebrating today, has the ring of authenticity and warms our hearts. During this season of Lent we’ll be given plenty of opportunities to demonstrate our love with genuine acts of piety; and by the time Easter rolls around we’ll have a whole vault of treasure stored up in heaven.
Thought for the Day: What is my Lenten discipline?