Sunday, March 10 2019
“As the baptized, as the beloved of God, the challenge in my life is to learn to have deeper trust and confidence in the love of God. Lent is the wilderness space in time, set apart to teach me to trust God’s love once again and to hand myself over to be assumed and consumed by his love, for that is my only hope of redemption. Temper me, O God, with your love that I may learn to trust your love once again. Help my unbelief that I may believe and be healed by your love” (Bishop Allen Shin).
Lent is the time when we realize that the distractions of the world have kept us from God’s purpose in our lives. We need to put our full trust in God. If we want to be an authentic expression of Christ’s light, we need to pray, study, listen, and make God the center of our world again. For the first week of Lent please consider putting your full trust in God’s love. Please observe a Holy Lent and take a few quiet moments to re-examine your commitment to God’s purpose. God is very near to us and loves us dearly.
Each week we share the body and blood of our Lord on Sunday morning. These sacraments are an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. 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 bread 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 are asked to lead a new life, following the commandments, and walking in Holy ways. The Holy Eucharist is essential during Lent to bring us back to the place where God can do the most good with us. During the recessional hymn at the 10 am service there is an energy and spirit in the congregation that leads us to hospitality to our guests and sends us into the world with a mission to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. Today we will sing, “How great thou art.” Please join your voice with the choir and sing praise to God.
St. John’s is always about community. Please join us on Sunday mornings for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat after the service in the Great Hall. Hospitality is second nature to us at St. John’s and I ask all our parishioners to invite one of our newcomers to join you this Sunday after service. If you are looking for a great way to deepen your relationship with Christ, then please join Leslie Valentine for a Lenten Spirituality Group Retreat on Saturday March 23rd. Our Bible Study Group meets at 11:00am on Tuesdays. This week we begin, “The Path, A Journey Through the Bible.” This year’s Lenten program on Tuesday evenings will feature Dr. Nina Grief, Fr. Duncan, Rev. Eddie Alleyne, Deacon Jennifer Webster and Fr. John. Join us for Stations of the Cross, Evening Prayer, a simple meal, and our program, “SIN: Glittering Vices & the Dark Side of the Soul.”
In Christ’s love,