Mar 2013: Lent and Holy Week

The year has gotten off to a fast start and things are picking up speed as spring approaches. In mid- February, we started the season of Lent with an Ash Wednesday service. There, we handed out strips of cloth to remind us of several things. In many ways, like the thin strip of colored cloth, we have been ripped from the whole – God. And so, separately, our life doesn’t show the complete character of God (the entire pattern of the fabric) as it could if we were still connected to the whole. As strips torn away, our life often seems like it is fragmented and raveled on the edges. Many things tear at us and pull is in different directions. And in a few cases, we feel twisted by the effects of life. I hope that as you continue through these weeks leading up to Maundy Thursday, you will keep you strip of cloth with you and may it remind you of how you are separated from God and long to be connected again. When we meet for our Maundy Thursday service, we’ll reclaim those strips of cloth and make them into something whole and beautiful.

As well, through the next few weeks in our worship time, we will study several stories as Jesus journeys to Jerusalem to face the cross. With each passing week, Jesus is moving closer to completing his mission and to his death on the cross. In our worship, we will follow Luke’s journey theme. As I mentioned on the First Sunday in Lent, our approach can be like the Hiking Hut t-shirt that I saw a few weeks ago. Their slogan is “where the journey is the destination.” Jesus’ weekly travels can be our destination as we walk along with our master and learn from him. So, as we continue our season of Lent, this is the worship schedule:

  • March 3 – 3rd Sunday in Lent: The Gift of Extra Time. Luke 13:1-9
  • March 10 – 4th Sunday in Lent: Taking the Road Back Home. Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 
  • March 17 – 5th Sunday in Lent: A Scandalous Act. John 12:1-8 
  • March 24 – Palm Sunday: About as Excited as a Stone. Luke 19:28-40 
  • March 28 – Maundy Thursday Service, 7:00 pm. Bring your strip of cloth with you! 
  • March 31 – Easter Sunday. Luke 24: 1-12

While Lent is a busy season at church, we find meaning in our worship and other rituals this time of year. In addition to supporting our annual America for Christ offering, I hope that you are taking part in WorldVision’s 30 Days of Fasting and Prayer. We are using this study to deepen our spiritual journey during this Lent and also for us consider how others in the world live with much less than do we. As you can creatively participate in these fasts, I hope that you will have a more meaningful Lenten season and experience a true fast in a number of ways. In addition to fasting, we are collecting our coins and dollars to help fight hunger. We will receive the offering at our Maundy Thursday service and send it to use in an area of the world where there is the most need. As we go through our 30 days of fasting, let us remember with compassion those who go without our luxuries. And let us give what we can to help our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

I pray that you continue to have a meaningful Lenten season and a joyful Easter!

– Pastor Bill

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