From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 4th Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

So today was a tough day. Not only was there technical difficulties in our worship service, but there was… well that was all that made today tough, to be honest. And for most they might be able to just “meh” it away and chalk it up to life, I have a pretty visceral reaction to it.

Because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit afraid of failure. So much so, that I might even attribute “failure” to things that really aren’t my fault. Like say, batteries dying on me, for example.

And while I might not curl up into a fetal position at the prospect, I often can’t see anything good from failure. So I avoid it when I can, and totally beat myself up over when I can’t.

Which, pastorally speaking, is too bad because it’s in the failure, weaknesses, and shortcomings that we have where we can see God most clearly. God’s grace is more apparent when we need it. God’s love for us all, failures and all, continues to be present, lifting us up, and reminding us just how saved we are.

Here are the readings for this coming Sunday:
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-10
John 3:14-21

Sometimes I’m glad that my worst fear is around failure, and not something else. For example, snakes. I know people who have a real fear of those creatures for various reasons. And I guess that often is where our deepest fears come from: experience. Or more specifically, bad experience.

A bad experience, extreme enough, can make anyone afraid of anything. I know my experience around failures as a kid has contributed a lot to my fear of them. And I would imagine the experience of being bitten by poisonous snakes with the threat of literal death looming over you could be bad enough to instill some fears.

But it is that very thing, that source of the fear, that God uses for healing. Whether it be a deadly venomous snake, the symbol of torture, shame, and death found in the cross, or a low battery warning in the middle of a worship service that somewhat relies on electrical gizmos, God can be seen in them.

And not just seen, but heard and felt, lifting us up and bringing us back into wholeness and peace. So while we will still have our fears, we can also find comfort in them, knowing that we are not alone nor abandoned by God’s love, which remains steadfast and true no matter the experience.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

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