The Good Newsletter
Reflections from Pastor Norma
March has some pretty awesome events on my Christian calendar. Consider March 3-9 UCC Women’s Week: The Congregational Church (our legacy) was the first denomination to ordain a woman Antoinette Brown in the year 1853. We also have The Council for Health & Human Service Ministries (CHHSM) hosting their annual meeting in Chicago, of which I will attend. But the most significant event is ASH Wednesday when our Lenten Journey begins. This marks the beginning of approximately 40 days to Easter, Resurrection Sunday on April 21st!
We enter LENT with a different attitude as when we entered ADVENT, the other major Christian season. Advent is joyful – a baby is born. Joy and laughter and praises sung. Although the translation of Lent is “springtime”, conversely Lent, is somber. Lent was started by the Nicene Council, early Church fathers way back in 325 AD. It was meant to direct the Christian flock to a time of self-examination, penitence, devotions, prayers and a time of sacrifice.
In the old days of my journey, my sacrifice was “giving up Marie Calendar pies” for those 40 days. Now, I cringe at my paltry sacrifice. There are many other ways to salute this period of Lent. My husband John (60 years of ordained ministry) likes the acronym LENT = Let’s Embrace New Thinking. So over recent years that is what I try to engage in for the period of Lent.
The skies have been exceptionally blue after the February rains and the other day, I saw a huge jet plane flying in the sky! Praise the Lord that God gave humanity the brains to create this “human bird”. What would the Wright Brothers say if they stood with me, gazing at this 747 zooming at 600 mph? New Thinking. And every generation is faced with new visions and dreams to meet a new population, a different society, and new technology.
My friend Janet who I met in college just told me she bought a new Tesla. “Tesla! What did you pay? $80 K?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “$100 K because I wanted it in brick red plus other bells and whistles.” Goodness, who pays that much for a car? But my dear Janet said it rides like you are on a cloud and is completely run by electric power! Yes, friends, in 10 years most of our cars will be powered not by gasoline but by electric power! And by that time it should be down to $30 K! Janet worked hard all her life; she had her own engineering company.
Yes, air and ground transportation have seen great strides in our lifetime. However, every change comes with negativity and resistance. What…. people fly? Cars operated with electricity?
Another key area that is met with resistance are changes in Worship & Music. Mainline Churches need to be aware of a new generation of Worshipers. Unfortunately, Protestants have been slow in meeting the needs of our children and grand children.
Perhaps this might be our season to ponder how we wish to create a purpose driven personal and spiritual life to reach the next level of enrichment.
Join us on Sunday, March 10th, for a Lenten Prayer Retreat after our Worship Service. We can all put on our “walking shoes” for our Lenten Journey. Shall we march ahead during the next 40 days plus Sundays? Our journey can be pretty exciting if we pray, ponder AND even fast. Who knows? We could be like Joshua and make the walls come tumbling down. Maybe we need this to enable us the full joy of The Resurrection on Easter Sunday!
Let the Light of Lent Shine!
-Rev. Norma DeSaegher
Scripture of the Month
“Behold, I am doing a new thing”. (Rev. 21:5)
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