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– Pastor’s Corner –

– Pastor’s Corner –

Pastor Beverly Thompson Cornell and Hannibal New Hope Presbyterian Spring is in the air – or it was when I was writing this. Spring is such a lovely time of year, with the hope of new beginnings – new buds on the trees, flowers poking their heads out of the warming earth and the hope of being able to set aside all that heavy winter gear. I find heavy winter coats to be a nuisance trying to climb in and out of the car, but I also dress like I live next door to Nanook of the North (the Canadian Arctic).

Lent is here and Easter will be upon us soon. As we go through the Lenten Season, one of my goals in my churches has been to read as much of Jesus’ teachings as we can before we reach Easter. Jesus taught a lot.

The book of Matthew, chapter five, starts with the Beatitudes and Jesus goes on teaching all the way through chapter seven. Of course, Jesus teaches a whole lot more than just that portion of the Gospel, but in that little bit, Jesus taught about anger, lust, divorce, vows, retaliation, loving our enemy, prayer, giving to the needy, and the list goes on and on.

There are so many valuable life lessons for us just in that tiny portion of the Bible.

If we were to sum up the Christian faith in one word, most of us would use the word “love.” If all our decisions and actions were based on Christian love – the kind of love Jesus teaches about - the world would be a very different place.

All we have to do is look at Jesus, what he taught and how he lived. He lived like he loved every underdog, every underprivileged human being. He loved and cared for orphans, widows, lepers. He lived and died, because of His love for all of them, as well as for all of us.

Chances are really good another person has never died specifically for you. But Jesus lived and taught, and died, just for you and me – He died for every one of us. He died for our sins – for all the things we have ever done wrong in our life time and for everything we are going to doing wrong in the future.

He died so that our sins could be forgiven. Say to yourself – out loud, “Jesus died for ME.” Repeat that until it reaches the deepest part of your being.

A gift like that can never be repaid, but we could be appreciative, kind and caring for others. We could serve God by showing His love through our actions in our every day events.

As a reminder, when you start seeing spring blossoming, think about a new, wonderful growth within yourself – more and greater random acts of kindness. And maybe by those new and improved actions, others might see Him and His love through you.