Good afternoon members and friends of FPCE,
Tomorrow is the 5th Sunday of Lent. One of the most meaningful disciplines of this season is to practice solitude.
For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)
We need a break from the chaos, from the noise and the crowds, more than we may think at first. We need silence and solitude for a healthy spirit.
Tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. we have planned a more reflective and quiet worship service for you. I hope you can join us.
Grace and peace to all,
PS – there will be an adult class at 9:45 a.m. Read Luke 18 and 19 if you are able.
“Whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” What in the world? I spend mammoth amounts of energy trying to be strong – and teach my children to make that a cornerstone of their lives. And then I read this statement in this morning’s reading: Don’t take yourself so seriously. Immediately I launch a fusillade of objections: “But life is serious! I have a to-do list too full to get done! I’m a pastor, I have a serious job to do.”
I read on and my guard drops; Anxiety wraps you up in yourself, trapping you in your own thoughts. Stop and read that sentence again. Isn’t that true? Anxiety is rooted deeply within me. As in that fisherman’s prayer; “The ocean is so big, my boat is so small.” The world overwhelms me.
And the Lord said - “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength come into its own in your weakness.” So it is good to recognize, admit to, even embrace, our weakness – it keeps us turning to God , who is our strength. When I am weak, God can become strong through. Counter-intuitive, spiritual wisdom.
Grace and peace,
Scripture passages are found in II Corinthians 12: 9-10. This morning’s reading is from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.
Good morning people,
We are living in the Age of Raplexiity. Rapid and complex change. I find it too easy to be swept up in the rushing, foaming currents of change. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, I have a tendency to withdraw, isolate, bury myself in my rocking chair. How can I possibly get through this? As Israelites would moan during their dark days, “The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”
The Lord responds to that deep, oft-unspoken fear: “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Look, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Sisters and brothers, find hope in those words. You are loved. Your life is meaningful and precious. Would you pray with me: “Our Father, we have entered in the holy place (of prayer) as you have invited us. Be close to us. Open our hearts to understand your word. Remove the darkness that surrounds us and give us your light. Amen.”
*The scripture passage is Isaiah 49: 14-16. The prayer is from a song of Africa, “Baba Wethu Singenile” sung by Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Happy Monday in the 4th week of Lent!
The door of my heart opens when I sit in my living room rocking chair and look at the framed photos Heather has placed around the room. My heart is enlarged when I allow gratitude for the past to enter in. I love the moments when I reflect on the happy times gone by. But sometimes, a deep ache of pain or sadness; a dark cloud of guilt or shame will threaten the gratitude. During Lent, we can let that pain and sadness go; abstain from giving it more of our time and attention. Take some time today and reflect on these verses from Isaiah 65: 17 (The Message translation.)
Pay close attention now:
I’m creating new heavens and a new earth.
All the earlier troubles, chaos, and pain
are things of the past, to be forgotten.
Look ahead with joy.
Anticipate what I’m creating…
This Lent, let go of the past. God has. Rejoice and be glad – God is up to something good!
“God of Spirit and Truth, you give us truth so large that we know it has to be true everywhere, all the time, and for everybody – or it is not your truth.”
Tomorrow morning we will read from two scriptures that emphasize one truth. Please join us at 11:00 a.m. Adult class at 9:45.
TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR.
The sun shining through the window and across my desk. Another day the Lord has given us – let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Anyone remember the Bob Dylan song, Tangled Up in Blue? That title came to mind when I happened upon this insightful prayer…or is it a plea? “Source of mercy! With loving strength, untie our tangles!”
I remember brushing the tangles out of my daughter’s half when she was a child. My life can be that tangled too. When we think of the disciplines of Lent: the fasting, the giving up of certain foods, the Bible reading, the praying. All of those are wonderful disciplines. Appropriate to the season. However, the disciplines are not the end, but a means of getting there. The end is a deeper and richer relationship with God. I’ve tangled up my life so much… “Source of mercy! With loving strength, untie our tangles!”
Have a blessed day!
OK. Who has not built their snowman/woman/weird creature yet? Please do so. (ha-ha) Stay safe everyone.
Creator of light,
The blessing of light be upon us –
The blessing of daylight,
The blessing of sunlight,
The blessing of Christ light.
Scatter the darkness from before us
That we may walk as children of light.
Grace and peace everyone!
And he persists. I’m talking about the sun. Shining two days in a row! I hope the brightness of this morning stays with you all through your days. From one of my morning readings, “Make friends with the problems in your life. Though many things feel random and wrong…I can fit everything into a pattern for good – but only to the extent you trust me… (from Jesus Calling, Sarah Young) Or, as the good book puts it, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well. Peace. Pastor Michael
The royal blue sky. The streaks of yellow. The glow of orange peeking up from the eastern horizon.
“The heavens are telling the glory of God…
day to day pours forth speech…
there is no speech, nor are there words,
yet their voice goes out through all the earth.”
The sky and the sun are talking to us this morning. It’s a new dawn. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Have a blessed day brothers and sisters,
See you in church?
A question, how many of us are feeling stretched and stressed? As long as you are have a heartbeat, my guess is that every one of has at some point this week. One of the advantages of worship is that it gives us an opportunity to take a big, collective breath together. That is especially true this coming Sunday when we quietly, slowly, intentionally share the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. We all will say the prayers together. We all know the hymns. We all need to stop and be still for just an hour. Together. It really is an awesome time. I hope you can make it this Sunday at 11:00.
For those who are so moved, there is an adult Sunday School class at 9:45. Stop by this week. No preparation needed.
Grace and peace to all,