From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 1st Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

I know this post is a bit late, but we had a full afternoon playing outside in the snow. We wanted to make sure we caught some of it before it melts, and I guess Family Day weekend is probably the best time to do so. And of course, we weren’t the only ones who had this idea! I mean the park we went to was PACKED (well, as packed as it could be with social distancing). The kids were sledding down this hill, and it was really obvious that they weren’t the first ones to do so, as not only were there literally people sliding down right before we got there, but the snow was all flat and muddy and we could see grass peeking out.

So as I watched the kids do their thing, I couldn’t help but have my mind wander a bit and wonder just how beautiful this park would have been when the snow was still fresh. I mean, there’s nothing like fresh snow blanketing the side of a hill with white tipped trees lining the open field that the hill leads to. But now? It just looked like a sloppy mess.

But the kids sure were having fun. I miss those days of innocently just loving snow without worry about who was going to shovel it. I guess seeing them having such a great time even in the mess makes it all worth it.

Here are the readings for next week:
Genesis 9:8-17
Psalm 25:1-10
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:9-15

So we are embarking on this journey in Lent. Well, we are embarking after Wednesday, that is. But we begin this journey, this time of repentance, this opportunity to reflect and confess and we might wonder what a state the world is in right now. The world is in, in a word, shambles. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, we are still facing inequality and oppression, and the divide between us and them seems to be growing wider and deeper by the day. This is the perfect world that God had made for us and entrusted to us to care for.

It’s messed up now.

So what should we do? How can it be fixed? Do we need another global extinction level event like a flood to wash it all away? I don’t think that’s what God wants, not again at least. In fact, God promised that to be so. Besides, we should know by now that even washing the planet isn’t a permanent fix. Washing our souls in the waters of baptism doesn’t protect us from the trials of temptation. Washing isn’t the answer.

But love is.

See, even in all this mess after the flood, God sees us as worth it. Even in our constant temptations and shortcomings, God continually picks us back up and strengthens us to keep going. Even in our unending need for do-overs and resets, God keeps holding us, forgiving us, and loving us in ways we can’t even comprehend.

The world might be a mess, but the relationships that can still happen are beautiful. We are always in sin and needing to repent but God’s forgiveness is plentiful and eternal. We fall short so much that it is actually embarrassing, but God continues to, has always, and will forever love us as God’s very own beloved children with whom God is well pleased.

May this season of Lent be a time of reflection and growth as we look ahead into the future with hope and joy. Thanks be to God!

Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash

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