Pastor Steven Thomas was born in Houston,
Texas. He graduated from New Mexico Tech with a BS in Chemistry. He was working
as a chemist in Baltimore for a few years, and then decided to pursue the dream
of being a pastor. In 1993, Pastor Steve graduated from the Lutheran
Theological Seminary in Gettysburg.
Steve enjoys hiking, kayaking, and reading. Pastor Steve’s passion is always
looking for greater understanding - especially in how our expanding scientific
knowledge reveals additional wonders of God.
of his favorite books are The Bible (of course), Awareness by
Anthony DeMello, One Minute Nonsense by Anthony DeMello, The
Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, E=mc2 by David Bodanis,
and the Tolkein trilogy.
that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
We begin the season of Lent with these words.These words are a sobering reminder that you
will not live forever.
On the one hand,
you should not take yourself too seriously.Taking yourself too seriously often results in the sin of
self-centeredness.As though the only
things that matter in life are the things that are associated with you – and
your comfort – and your interests.One
of the oldest definitions of sin is “an inward turning”.
The opposite of
that, would be an outward turning.A
looking outside of yourself – and considering how your actions, your words, or
your thoughts might affect people around you or the world around you.This is the part where it might be a little
more useful to take yourself a little more seriously.Your sin – your self-centeredness can do alot
Jesus’ answer to
all of these worries is to forgive.It
seems a rather simple answer to all of the complexities of our sin – and yet,
forgiveness is the divine answer to the deepest ailment of your life.First, there is forgiveness of others (as
best you can).I liken forgiveness to
“understanding”.If you can look outside
of yourself and your own interests long enough to truly see the other person –
the person who you feel has wronged you – then you might be able to see where
they are hurting.And this can dampen
your anger toward them.
And then there is
forgiveness of yourself.Sometimes we
get caught up in our own emotions and interests and say or do something that we
later regret.So then, Jesus offers you
forgiveness.And from this position of
forgiveness, you are better able to do what you can do to create wholeness in
you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”These words should remind you that you are a temporary being in this
world.(Yes, you get to live forever in
heaven – but those ashes have to do with this world and your spiritual
development in this life.)And so, each
of us should try to use this one precious, but temporary life to foster those
things that are eternal – that shine beyond ourselves – actions and words that
foster hope, and joy, and love, and grace.Those things that speak of the Spirit of God within you.
May this season
of Lent give you insight and wisdom – and grace.