March Pastor's Note

Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that Lent is coming upon us again. Lent is a time meant for reflection and preparation. I find that in my own life, I am get so caught up in what is on my schedule and calendar, what comes in my phone messages and emails that when I do find some free time, the last thing I want to do is study Scripture or spend personal time with God. Now this might not be the words you want to hear coming from your Pastor, but they are honest words, spoken from my heart knowing where my shortfalls are. The season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and self-examination in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord at Easter. In the early church, Lent was a time of preparation for the celebration of baptism at the Easter Vigil. In many communities of faith it remains a time to equip and nurture candidates for baptism and confirmation and to reflect deeply on the theme of baptismal discipleship. It has become a cultural phenomenon to “give something we like up” for Lent, to deny ourselves from our pleasures, chocolate, alcohol, Diet Dr. Pepper…pick your poison. For me this year, I want to personally refocus myself on my own discipleship, nurturing my relationship with God to better equip myself to fulfill my baptismal call. Maybe this is what you are called to do this year, maybe this means you join a Bible Study or Sunday School, maybe you attend the Lenten study or pick up your own personal devotion to read at home. Maybe God is calling you to do volunteer work, or to seek out relationships with others. My hope for you this Lent, is that it be a time of self-examination, fasting, and prayer for you, however it may manifest-so that you can deepen your relationship with the one who died and rose again for the forgiveness of our sins. I leave you with a Lenten poem by Ann Weems, found in her book From Advent’s Alleluia to Easter’s Morning Light.  It is titled, “We All Have Our Courtyards”

We all have our courtyards,

those times and places we face

like Peter

when we must decide

to stand up and say

whether we know him or not.

Those crossroads in our lives,

when we go along with things as they are,

or we say, as Luther did,

Here I stand, I can do no other.

We all have our courtyards….

Lent is the time to prepare

for our courtyards,

the time to listen to who he says he is

And he did, you know,

He did tell us who he is.

He is that one who brings good news to the poor,

freedom to the oppressed,

sight to the blind…

that Holy One who said,

Follow me.

Feed my sheep.