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New Hope Presbyterian Church
  • 7301 Shallowford Road
    Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421
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  • Phone (423)892-0853
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Regular Schedule
  • Adult Bible Study
    – 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM
  • Worship
    – 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM
  • Prayer Group
    – 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
  • Brown Bag Dinner & Bible Study
    – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Pastor's Page

Candace Worth

Candace's Pastoral Ponders...

It’s hard to believe that Lent is about to begin! Ash Wednesday is February 14th.  Once again we enter into a season of searching and preparation.  The church’s yearly calendar helps to remind us of the journey that we are currently taking.  Yes, Lent is a time for metaphorical or spiritual journeying, but it is also a  microcosm of our whole life.  Christ does not call us to a destination, but to join him on the Way.  We don’t have a destination, because God is with us.  We might be where we are supposed to be, but not where we can stay.  God calls us ever forward, building upon our past and that of those who have walked before us.

Lent is usually practiced as a time for self reflection and personal spiritual activities—prayer, fasting,  giving alms, and Bible study.  While all of these activities are worthwhile, we cannot stop there.  So often we separate our “spiritual” life from our “everyday” life.  But this is a dichotomy constructed in the modern era.  In the Bible we see that our relationship with God affects every aspect of our lives not just those in relation to the church. 
We read in Isaiah 58, “Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God,...Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist...Will you call this a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?  Is not this the fast I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide them, and not hide yourself from your own kin?” 

Or in Micah 6: “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?  Shall I come with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  

Yes, Lent calls us into a time of reflection and self examination, but it does this in order to change the way we ACT not merely so we can say we did it.  We have been given the good news of the gospel.  To spread this good news is not merely to share it by word of mouth or through text, but to spread it through our example.  There is no part of our lives that God wants to leave out of salvation.  So let’s go and share God’s message through our words and our deeds!  May your Lenten journey be blessed!