Monday, March 15 2021
Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:4-9).
The mystery of the Cross, the redemptive death and resurrection of Christ, is at the heart of the Christian story of salvation of the world. Christ, offering himself as a sacrifice to atone for human sins on the Cross, reveals the divine mystery of the self-sacrificing love of God. The mystery of the Cross calls for the human participation in that sacred act, which is renewed and celebrated in the Eucharistic sacrifice. The corporate participation of all the faithful is the ideal and the norm of this objectively sacred act of sacrifice (Bishop Shin).
Lent is a time of preparation, when we teach the faithful to draw closer to the one we love. It is by our example of worship, study, prayer, and outreach that others will see that Jesus Christ came that we might have life and live it abundantly. Jesus Christ came that we might be transformed from a sinner to the beautiful children of God that we were created to be.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Eternal life begins today and never ends. Please use these next few weeks of Lent to draw closer to the one who loves you deeply. The most significant preacher in a congregation is not the person in the fancy vestments in the pulpit, but the people in the congregation going out into the world. Apostles have been transformed by the cross of our Lord, to do the will of God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The fact of the matter is that priests come and go, but the power of the Holy Spirit to transform the lives at St. John’s goes on from generation to generation. God loves us so deeply that Christ, God’s Son, suffered on a cross that we might be forgiven of our sins.
We have the power to transform the nightmare that the world can be into the blessing of the Kingdom of God. We are transformed through the bread of life and we become the transforming power in the world. Please have hope that God can fix this mess of hatred, addiction, gun violence, racism, and sexism. God will transform us into the beautiful children of God, if we would just turn to him, who died for our sins. So if you have been hurting, frustrated, sick, or a little down, have faith that God will make all things new again. We will emerge from this pandemic as we emerged from our baptism, wet in the waters of the Holy Spirit and anointed to become the beloved community that God calls us to be.
This past week, Pat Ahmad gave a wonderful presentation on the children’s book, Same Difference by Calinda Rawles. If you were unable to attend our Lenten Program, I ask you to go on our website at stjohnshuntington.org and watch the program at your leisure. Our racial reconciliation and social justice committee is putting on a fabulous Lenten series on Tuesday nights. Please join us for the next two weeks on Wednesday nights.
In Christ's Love,