The Pastor's Page
This past Sunday was our Annual Congregational Meeting, which was well attended. The Annual Report…including last year’s minutes, financial reports and committee reports…was approved unanimously. Church Council also made a motion to accept the Change to Bylaw C10.01a that was distributed to everyone in January. This was seconded and approved unanimously, which means that we will now be holding our Annual Meeting on the third Sunday in September. This meeting will include the proposed annual budget for approval, elections, as well as the annual reports. We believe this change is important because it will allow attendance by many more members since so many are away in the winter months. The meeting was followed by a French Toast breakfast, as we prepare for Lent.
Lent is a time for looking into a mirror. The mirror over the sink may reveal our face, and any small wrinkles, but the mirror of Lent reveals even more: “Just as water mirrors your face, so your face mirrors your heart.” (Prov. 27:19, The Message)
Lent is about asking questions that hold up a mirror to our heart and soul: questions about how we give, how we pray, and how we care for our neighbor… do we love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul? It is to lay open and bare before God our very lives…especially all the things we try to hide from others and ourselves. But then, Lent is also about turning the mirror around to seek the face of the one who holds the answers…who saves us and makes us new.
When you think of Jesus, what do you see? How does he appear? When you close your eyes to pray, does an image enter your mind? Do you him as he appears in your favorite painting? Or maybe you see Jesus as he is portrayed in a movie you watched growing up. The truth is, not one of the authors of the gospels includes any physical description of what Jesus looked like. Nor have historians found any authentic first-century portraits of Christ. We just do not know what he actually looked like.
But we do know that those who met him during his life did see his face. They gazed into the eyes of the Son of God…and when they did, they were changed. During Lent, we will hear the stories of those who experienced Jesus in person…the Samaritan woman at the well, Nicodemus, a man born blind who now can see, and Lazarus, whose very life is restored and set free. If we listen carefully we can learn a great deal about what it was like to peer into the face of the Son of God
In April, we see Jesus turn his face towards Jerusalem and the events of Holy Week. Holy means "set apart." Christians set apart an entire week to recall the events surrounding the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Holy Week commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem; his gift of the Eucharist at the Last Supper; then his suffering and death. Then on Easter, we rejoice at the promise of new life through his Resurrection.
I encourage you to take the time to worship with us through Lent and each night of Holy Week, to contemplate all that Christ has done and continues to do for us to reveal God’s love for the world. Each day will help us grow closer to God and to one another as we consider what it means to follow the One who is willing to give up all for each of us.
I invite everyone to join us in taking part in this powerful and life-changing drama
Your servant in Christ,