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(Photo by Sam Carter/Upsplash)

By Dr. Bascom Ratliff

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

The inspiration for today’s message is from: 

John 1:29 “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.

This past Sunday we had a visit from Addie, a beautiful (and vocal) lamb. Addie’s owner gave a great message about Addie’s history and how lambs represent God’s sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ. For me it was one of those “aha” moments. As I thought about Addie and Jesus, I thought about the powerful message that Jesus brings to our churches and faith. Jesus was God’s sacrificial lamb who was sent to us as a living and powerful sacrifice for our sins.

It is important for us to recognize the truly magnificent gift that God has provided to all of us. Jesus came not only as a sacrifice, but also to teach us and model for us the unfailing love that God so freely gives.

I admit that I am unable to even remotely imagine the magnificence and power of God. I cannot conceive of a being so powerful that he created the heavens and the earth and all the suns, moons, and planets in our solar system. And even more importantly, I have great difficulty conceiving or imagining a God who loves me without fail and has made it possible, through Jesus Christ, to have eternal life with him.

It because of this that I was overjoyed and impressed with Addie. Seeing and hearing Addie reminded me of Jesus and the important message that we are, as Jesus was, to be humble and loving. And, as the Beatitudes teaches us, “blessed are the meek and merciful."

As we enter into, and continue through, the season of Lent, I am asking God that I be more like Addie in displaying the attributes of humility, love, and sacrifice. I am asking God for help and I hope that I find continued inspiration to be more like Jesus. My prayer is that Lent becomes a life-changing event for me. Rather than giving things up for Lent, as I have done in the past, I hope to add more things to my life and my service to Christ and his church. I would like to replace my arrogance with humility. I would like to replace my greed and selfishness with generosity. I would like to replace my anger and resentment with a strong commitment to love and care for others.

To my loyal and faithful readers, I would like to challenge you to consider adopting a more Christlike approach to Lent. Instead of giving something up for the few weeks of Lent, consider adding a healthy dose of generosity and service to your community and/or church.

Ask yourself, what would Jesus have me do? Give of yourself, give of your time, and in all things, be thankful to a loving and caring God whose love for us is unimaginable.

Let’s follow Jesus through Lent!


If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and fellowship, please come and worship with us.

We will worship at the Beagle United Methodist Church during February 2024.

We will worship at the Fontana UMC during March 2024.

We will worship at the Parker UMC during April 2024.

We will have Holy Thursday services at Fontana On March 28, 2014 at 7 p.m.

We will have Good Friday services at Parker On March 29, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Sunday Sunrise services will be at Beagle on March 31, 2014 at 7 a.m.

Regular Sunday services will be at Fontana  on March 31, 2014 at 10 a.m.

All Sunday services are at 10 a.m. 

All are welcome to worship in God’s House.  

Dr. Bascom Ratliff  (913-710-5748)

Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches

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