Good morning, Church! It is the third Sunday in Lent. I hope that you’re not facing today as just “another Lord’s Day.” In order to keep that from happening, my challenging question for today is, “Are you allowing yourself to hope for that which your heart deeply desires?” OK, let me pose the question another way, “As you prepare for worship today, does the reality of a living Savior cause you to hope, or does the reality of your mortality and frail character leave you emotionally and spiritually numb?” OK, OK; that’s not much better. The simple question is, “Are you still living in hope?” Listen to what John Eldredge has written: “Do we form no friendships because our friends might be taken from us? Do we refuse to love because we may be hurt? Do we forsake our dreams because hope has been deferred? To desire is to open our hearts to the possibility of pain; to shut down our hearts is to die altogether. The full proverb reads this way: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy.” The road to life and joy lies through, not around, the heartsickness of hope deferred” (Ransomed Heart). You see, the Lenten Season is all about abounding hope in the midst of death. We face our earthly mortality (death and pain) in the knowledge that the dream of life and joy (resurrection) is about to come true!! So–let’s move toward life and joy by considering our Lenten Scripture readings and Lenten prayer: Psalm 93, 96; Genesis 44:1-17; Romans 8:1-10; John 5:25-29. “Loving Father, So many times I turn away from You [hope deferred] and always You welcome me back. Your mercy and love gives me confidence [life and joy]. Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray so that You can form a new heart within me [life and joy]. Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses leads me to ask for mercy and await with great hope the Easter joy [ah, ha! there you are, Jesus!!] You share with us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.” Dream away, my friends! Thanks for journeying; Blessings to all–PT.