The grace and peace of the living Christ is certainly with us.
This week, we celebrated Ash Wednesday. This year I suggested that you may want to take one of the Ten Commandments up a notch as Jesus has suggested over the past month in our Gospel readings. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, we hear Jesus say that it isn't enough to not murder, because we kill people with our words and thoughts every day. Jesus tells us that even if we think it, we do it. While this may seem impossible, this is still our ultimate goal. This Lent, I will consider my words much more carefully as my mouth has a tendency to get me in trouble at times! I encourage you to read those Ten Commandments again as found in Exodus 20 to see how they may influence your Lenten practice this year.
March 1 is the first Sunday in Lent. This year we will be doing a sermon series, rather than sticking with the usual Lectionary readings. The theme is God the Weaver. To realize this theme, we will be creating a tapestry during worship. You are asked to bring something you're ready to surrender forever - a wonderful memory, a meaningful token, or something that no longer serves you. It could be a ribbon, a fabric scrap, a favorite dog collar, as just a few examples. We will weave these items into our communal tapestry each week. I've done this before at a retreat at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina, and then again a few weeks ago at the Bishop's Convocation. This can be quite healing, spiritual, and cathartic. On Easter, our unique tapestry will be revealed. You'll need to come to church to see how this all works out!
Again, I want to invite you to the annual Lenten Study that will meet on all four Wednesdays in March at 7pm at church. Please get your own copy of the book we will be studying entitled, Living Faithfully and published by Abingdon Press. It's available on Kindle or through your favorite bookseller. There is a sign up in Case Hall, or just come and stay with a Lenten discipline of small group Bible study.
By now, most of you have been invited to, or attended a Covenant meeting. I have heard some really great things about your gatherings. And, I think that's also why we've had a spike in attendance recently! Praise God. Come and see!
See you in church, in the community, and in the world,