1st Sunday of Lent

Dear Congregation:

Happy First Sunday in Lent! While we don't usually use the word "Happy" to describe Lent, this year our Lenten focus is on letting go of our "stuff" that keeps us from allowing God to fill us to the brim with all that God wants to fill us with. The goal of our Lenten journey is Easter joy!

We have lived in our home on Lincoln Rd. for ten years this year and have decided it may be time to get a dumpster. Ten years of stuff has accumulated and we have no idea where it has all come from. But we realize that we don't have to hold on to every last memory. When we moved in, the kids were 11 and 13. Now they are 23, 21, and 8. We don't need the same things we needed when they were younger. The older girls rooms are boxed up with things they no longer need now that they are adults. And Little Miss A's room is filled with clothes she has outgrown and toys she no longer plays with. As for the adults, we too have held on to too much. Our sizes have changed a few times; we no longer need to hold onto broken and useless furniture or pots and pans that have been well-loved but are no longer used. Time has changed us, and it's time to let go of things so that the new us with adult kids and an elementary person can shine for who we are here and now.

In the same way, during the season of Lent we realize we have held on to ways of being that maybe aren't working for us anymore. Maybe there are patterns and habits that we need to change. Maybe there are parts of ourselves that we no longer need and it's time to let go of the anger and hatred or the unforgiveness that is just filling up unnecessary space in our lives. For the Lenten season to actually "work" for us, we have to take it seriously -- recognizing that we get this nice little "reset" button during this season -- a reset button that encourages us to let go of who we aren't and to embrace who God has created us to be. And we stop our regularly scheduled life programs because God came to earth to live as a human, to love as a human, to suffer as a human, and to reconcile as a human. In Jesus Christ, we recognize that we can live abundantly because he lived abundantly.

So welcome to Lent! You are invited to our Lenten study before church Sunday (choir members, you can join us on zoom Monday morning -- just ask for the zoom link!) Ms. Beth Elchert is going to be leading the children in a before church Lenten Sunday School as well! Come ready for God to fill us to the brim!


Peace.

Pastor Katie

 

Upcoming Events

Sunday, 3/6:

9:00 a.m.: Children's Sunday School for Lent

9:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study

9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir

10:30 a.m.: Worship Service


Monday, 3/7:

11:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study via Zoom


Wednesday, 3/9:

4:15 p.m.: Discipleship Meeting


Sunday, 3/13:

9:00 a.m.: Children's Sunday School for Lent

9:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study

9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir

10:30 a.m.: Worship Service

 

From Here in the Sand

by Rev. Sarah Speed


You’ve been here before.

I squeeze that truth like an orange in my hands,

willing some form of comfort to run out,

roll down my wrists,

calm these aching nerves.

You’ve been here before—

in the wilderness, in the desert,

in the place where nothing is what it seems

and everything is sharp.

You’ve been here before

so surely you know how hard it is

to hold tight to what is real

in the middle of a storm.

But because you’ve been here before,

I will stand tall.

I will sing songs of the river,

from here in the sand.

I will sing songs of the river,

into the wind.

 

Temptations

by Hannah Garrity | Inspired by Luke 4:1-13


“Jesus answered him,

‘It is said,

“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’

When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.”

(Luke 4:12-13, NRSV)


In this image, concentric circles depicting the temptations that Jesus meets in the wilderness radiate outward. A crown and swords echo the power of kings that the devil offers to Jesus. Steeples point outward between the swords.


“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” Jesus quotes scripture in verse 12 of this Luke passage. And yet, the devil continues to test. Nails in the center foreshadow Jesus’ death on the cross.

“Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”

I depicted this story within the structure of a stained glass window. Where in our religious structures do we find temptation winning the day? Where do our selfish actions fall on this temptation continuum? May we see the abundance before us, dispelling the desire for more.

—Hannah Garrity