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  • Rev. Dale Cohen

Getting to Know God—Caring Counselor


“I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8, NRSV)


The Christian season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and is a seven-week season of repentance and renewal in preparation for Easter. In the Early Church (the church that existed in the first few centuries after Jesus’ death and resurrection), people who were converting to Christianity spent as much as three years in preparation for their baptism on Easter. They studied the catechism, the teachings of the Christian church organized in a list of questions and answers that would be committed to memory to safeguard the faith into which they were entering. Our observance of Lent is a means of maintaining the discipline of the faithfulness to God and leaning into a deeper appreciation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ with renewed commitment.


As a means of preparing ourselves as a community of faith, I am beginning a Lenten sermon series on “Getting to Know God.” The series started on Ash Wednesday with a sermon on “Getting to Know God—Intimate Friend. This Sunday will be on Caring God, followed by Faithful Helper, Loving Shepherd, Trusted Guide, and Resurrected Savior. Each week we will look at one of the Psalms that describes an attribute of God exhibited through our relationship with God.


In this week’s Psalm, Psalm 32, the Psalmist struggles with the weight of sin and the need to talk honestly with God about his situation. And yet, he remains silent, possibly out of fear for God’s response. But when he finally offers his confession to God, he finds that God is a caring instructor whose steadfast love (“hesed” in Hebrew) can be trusted. Hesed is a love that is so enduring that it persists beyond any sin or betrayal to mend brokenness and extend forgiveness.


The New Testament also bears witness to this attribute of God where it says:

“Cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7, NRSV)

I’m looking forward to sharing more about the attributes of God with you each week, and I hope to see you in church. This Lenten series is a great time to invite your friends to church as we learn more about our God who saves!

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At Florence First United Methodist, our personal and congregational commitment is to be a thriving congregation that honors God through meaningful worship, that develops people of all ages as fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, and that graciously impacts the community and the world through extravagant generosity and humble service, resulting in better lives for all.

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