The First Reading for this Sunday was Numbers 21:4-9. The people had spoken against God and Moses, so God punished them by sending poisonous serpents which caused some to die. The people realized their wrong and asked for forgiveness. God told Moses to take a pole and put a bronze serpent on it. If they were bitten, they could look at the serpent and would not die.
The second reading was Ephesians 2:1-10. Paul explained in his Epistle that we are all born into sin but if we accept Jesus, God will be merciful and forgive us. It is by the grace of God through faith that we are saved. Works cannot save us, for it is a gift of God. “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” If we love God, we will certainly do good works.
Reverend Johnston read the Gospel of John 3:14-21. This passage tells us that Christ did not come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it. It compares light to darkness and how we are expected to live in the light to glorify God. Verse 16 tells us how to be saved from sin. “….everyone who believes in him (his Son) may not perish but may have eternal life.”
Reverend Johnston compared the Israelites and Moses to the people now and their relationships with God. Man is a sinner and in order to be saved he must look to Christ and believe in him. We are infested with deadly sin and our only savior is Christ who died on the cross for us. God keeps his promise made to us in John 3:16. If we believe in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life with him. All we have to do is ask and accept it. The cross is like a ladder between earth and heaven. During Lent we are reflecting on our relationship with God and preparing our lives to live for Christ.
The use of light and dark in the verses is comparing living in Christ or living in sin. Christ is the light and we are to come to him and make a covenant with him. “But those who do what is true come to the light, so that I may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
On Wednesday, Mar. 21, St. Matthew’s will have a vestry meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the parish hall. There will also be a light supper afterwards and then Bible Study will be at 6:30. Reverend Lloyd Johnson is going to discuss Lent and the meaning of Holy Week services and Easter Sunday. Please join us for the supper and learning of God’s Word.