From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 5th Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

So my son Wesley celebrated his 6th birthday this past week, and he had his first real birthday party that he was able to invite his friends from school (he really didn’t have any friends other than family before this year anyway).  And I admit, that while I complain and make jokes around how hard it is to have young kids, I am kind of sad seeing him grow up.  I mean, he’s different now.  He uses bigger words.  He makes more mature decisions.  He is more independent and considerate and at times, even thoughtful.  The kid definitely is growing up.

I asked him at the end of his actual birthday if he feels different being 6.  He said no.  I asked him if he liked being 6 more than being 5.  He said yes.  Then I asked him what’s the difference.  He said nothing.

Growing up or not, that kid still confuses me.

Here are the readings for next week:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33

I’ve always loved this Jeremiah passage, because it reminds me of who we are in Christ.  In that while we are all different, while we all unique, and while we all continually change on the outside, God’s laws are written on our hearts and welcomes us all into God’s love and grace.

I think sometimes we worry that as we change, as we grow, and as the world changes around us, we need to remain a certain way to “stay” Christian or in God’s love.  But I don’t think it works that way.  Rather, I think God’s love for us always comes first, and it informs us of who we are and how we will be, rather than the other way around in that we need to be and act a certain way before God will love us.

What I mean is that our welcome and inclusion, our redemption and salvation, our being God’s beloved children is first and foremost and constant, while how we act and what we do might vary.  God’s love for us isn’t dependent on us, rather it is by God’s grace alone that we can be who we are and have it written onto our hearts.

There is a great liberation to know that while we might grow and change and be completely different from each other, that God will continue to love us, hold us, and welcome us into community with Christ and all the saints!  Thanks be to God!

Have a great week everyone!

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