FROM THE PASTOR
This month we continue exploring the covenants of God in the Old Testament in worship in a season where Lent began on a day where we celebrate love, and will end with celebrating Resurrection on a day where we assume anything could just be a joke. During Lent, we hear that we should return to the Lord our God who is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
I hope digging into these promises shows us all much about the heart of our God. Genesis 9:8-17 shows how an angry God relented and spared Noah and his family in the flood, and then hangs the rain bow- an image of the bow that is a weapon-in the sky. To remind that God will never again respond in anger this way. In Genesis 17:1-16, God promises Abram new life- the father of nations at 99! God chooses to replace Abram's disappointment, with a whole new identity and chapter in life. God uses Moses to bring the people out of slavery in Egypt and calls them a treasure. Knowing the struggle of life, gives a framework for how to use freedom and live long in Exodus 20 God wants to show love to thousands of generations, even as we sometimes we perceive these guides as enslaving us. In Numbers 21, God puts up with the Incredibly whiny and disobedient people who so quickly forget their deliverance When they are in pain, God chooses to bring healing to them with the serpent on the staff. After all of the wandering, God promises in Jeremiah 31:31-34 to remember our sins no more and to write God's law on our hearts in place of our confusion. In Scripture, God acknowledges anger, disappointment, struggles, pain and confusion, and over and over again reaches out in love and grace and hope. We as humans will fall short but we can never diminish the power of God's love.
I encourage you to journey with these promises in Lent in our worship on Sundays at 8:00am and 10:30 am, on Saturdays at 5 pm and at our midweek Lenten gatherings. We begin at 6 downstairs for a shared meal, with a Bible study and close with candlelight Holden Evening Prayer at 7 pm in the sanctuary.
Whatever you face in your journey, God meets you with love. Let's draw closer to these life giving words. During Holy Week, we remember that it is said to Jesus, "If you really are God's Son, save yourself." Because that is what we would chose. We would choose to save ourselves. But Jesus feeds his fearful followers, washes their feet and promises God's power and grace and love. At the end of this month we will be gathered for the Easter Vigil to celebrate that while we can be confused, God is not. God makes the most loving choice to save us instead. Because the ultimate symbol of love is the cross. And on April 1st we will be able to proclaim that "Christ is risen!" is not a joke. Jesus loves you- no fool in'!
What joy that this is truly God's heart for us! And for all
Yours in Christ,
God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
ROMANS 5:8, NRSV