From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 3rd Sunday in Lent

Hi all,

How is everyone’s back doing?  I ask this because quite honestly, my back is not so much in pain, but it is very, very tired.  Of course, because I spent a number of hours over the past few days shovelling this somewhat unexpected snow that has graced our sidewalks and driveways.  For all of you who have the job of clearing the snow off the aforementioned sidewalks and driveways, you know how difficult the work is, especially when the snow got really heavy Friday night (the days before that was just light powdery snow, which made shovelling pretty easy).  And this snow was somewhat unexpected because hey, we live in the Lower Mainland.  Aren’t we supposed to be like Canada’s Hawaii?  The traveller’s destination known for its great scenery, great food, and mild weather?

But then there was last year, I guess.  And that was a lot of snow.  So maybe we don’t have anything to complain about this year.  Still, hard work is hard and shovelling makes my back tired.  I wouldn’t have to do this if I lived in the actual Hawaii though…

I guess the good thing about this weird weather change is that my wife had this great idea to make a small snow hill (I’m not being sarcastic, it really was a great idea).  We have this wall in our yard that provides a pretty good support to lean snow on, and creating our own snow drift of sorts makes for a good slide for the kids.  So we broke out the sleds and toboggans (that we bought last year and used like one whole time) and had them slide down this 3 foot high, 4 foot long (you engineers can figure out the slope) hill for about 10 minutes before we had to go to our next appointment.

Honestly though?  Those were really fun 10 minutes.  Almost enough to make this change in weather worth it.

The readings for next week are:
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

Change isn’t always pleasant.  While we may welcome certain kinds of change in our lives (like a change in pay to our favour or a change in vehicle to more horsepower), often times we get comfortable with the way things are and we’d prefer that it stay that way.  Our family make up, our relationships, and the way we do things are areas in which we can fall into that “comfort zone”, and thus don’t wish change to happen.

And sometimes, even the hint of change could be scary, scary enough to make us resist them.  Changes in our regular routine could be jarring.  Changes in our communities could be unsettling.  Heck, I remember when I was a kid and they moved my favourite cartoon from 3:30 to 4:00 and I was lost.  Just the thought of something different sometimes makes us sweat a little, worried about what is to come as we’ve just never travelled down this path before.

I see in our readings for this week, there is a lot of change (or at least hints of change).  We have Jesus changing the way people do things in worship and we have Moses telling people suddenly they can’t kill their neighbours anymore.  But this change isn’t just for the sake of change or meant to be scary or inconvenient, but this is change that helps us to see more clearly the joys of living life, being with each other, and God working in the world.

See, as this change in weather allowed me the most fun 10 minutes all day (because the other hour and a half of shovelling wasn’t at all fun) so do the changes in our lives sometimes allow us to see God’s hand at work, God’s presence around us, and God’s love in our lives.

I know, change still can be unsettling.  But embracing the change (especially those things we have no control over) is really the only thing we can do and we can look for and see God in that change, bringing us grace and peace, and reminding us that our identity as God’s children is something that will never change.  This is God’s promise and good news.  We can believe and have faith that even in the midst of that scary change, we are not left alone but held up by God’s unending love and community.

Have a great week, everyone!

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