As I write these words, the morning sun is warming a moist earth, the birds are singing, cars are driving by filled with folks going about their day. It is beautiful.
But a couple of nights ago, it was not. Thunderstorms and high winds, even tornadoes battered the area. Damage was done, animals were scared, and some braced for impact that was felt – or not. And then, just as quickly, it is over and clean up begins, gardeners turn freshly loosened soil, birds and livestock find plenty of water.
Life varies from day to day, doesn’t it? It can be a great day or bad day – or, like the weather here, it can change from one minute to the next. There are never assurances of any kind, the rain will fall, the sun will blast, the days tick tock by. But this we know: God’s love never ceases, the Lord’s mercies never end – they are new every morning. The faithfulness of God is great and we are blessed to have our Creator as our portion. (riff on Lam 3:22-23)
It is thusly, we enter the Lenten season next week, paying deeper attention to our days and moments. The Christian liturgical calendar provides us ebbs and flows, times of joy and times of examination (and hopefully both at the same time). We now enter a time of examination and focused prayer, we ponder how we live our lives and how our faith informs the choices we make, the priorities we have, the zest for living that may elude us. We are wrapping up our series on the Sermon on the Mount and the teachings of Jesus echo in our hearts and spirits as we make our way through each day.
This Lenten season we will be focusing on prayer. We will focus on prayer in our Wednesday gatherings and in our sermon series. The psalms and the Gospel stories coordinate beautifully to tell us the good news of Jesus Christ, the call to relationship to the Lord, and reliance on the Holy Spirit, and how to live in community. We focus on the psalms and how they inform a prayerful life. I’m deeply and reverently looking forward to walking this Lenten journey with you.
Our March sermon series is “Hey, God, you there?”
March 5 I trust the Word Scriptures: Psalm 32, Matthew 4:1-11
March 12 I look to Jesus Scriptures: Psalm 121; John 3:1-17
March 19 I speak of the Lord Scriptures: Psalm 95; John 4:5-42
March 26 I tell my story Scriptures: Psalm 23; John 9:1-41
On Mondays, starting March 13, I would love you to join me in the Staples fellowship Hall at noon for a Lectio lunch. Bring your brown bag and we’ll look at the scriptures coming up for the next Sunday.