Spring will be with us on March 20! I have already been enjoying the birds outside my window. Knowing that they will soon be building nests, I have been contemplating leaving bits of Beta’s hair outside in order to give them building material as they prepare for new life.
March will be a full month of Lent. Where as Advent was our time to contemplate how we would prepare the (our) way for the (our) Lord, Lent is a time for contemplating death and resurrection; that of Jesus and metaphorically the death of our old selves and the creation of our new selves. A frequent practice in the past was to give up something for the 40 days of Lent (chocolate?). This ritual mimicked the fasting that traditionally took place during Lent. I subscribe to the more foreward thinking ritual of taking on something new. Some disciple-like trait that after practicing for 40 days, will become a permanent attibute for having practiced it. A New Life!
Covenant is also growing and changing - not necessarily by choice. I reflected on this during the February Presbytery meeting. As is the tradition, the hosting pastor preaches during the Presbytery worship time. In his sermon, the Rev. Dr. Adam Smith, asked us to contemplate how the many challenges our churches face today, replicate Moses being driven out into the wilderness. We find ourselves in new conditions and situations with which we are not at all familiar. Conditions that can be extremely difficult, and at time overwhelming. The essence of Rev. Smith’s message, however, was not that God drove Moses out in the wilderness to die, but instead to become God’s new people. Applying that to our current situation, should we not view our new “wildernesss” challenges not as the end or decline of something, but instead as the opportunity to become Gods people anew? A chance to reform ourselves into God’s everlasting plan.
May your Lenten journey bring challenges that reform and strengthen your mind, body and soul.
Your Pastor, Linda