Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Dear fellow Lenten pilgrims,

     Since today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, it is a good time to think about Lenten practices. Traditionally they are self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, and sacrificial giving and works of love.

     Many people talk about "giving up something for Lent" so let's start there. This is related to the practice of fasting. When we look at the other disciplines we see that it's not just a matter of giving up something, or fasting, it is also a matter of taking on something.

     We can fast in many ways. We can give up unhealthy food or habits. We can give up spending money on unnecessary things. We can drive less, watch TV less, we can use computers and smart phones less. What forms of fasting come to mind for you?

     What can we take on while we are giving something up? One practice is self-examination and repentance. Take time to reflect on your life and behaviors. How have you harmed or failed to help your neighbor? How have you harmed or failed to help the Earth? In what other ways have you harmed or failure to help?

     Another practice is prayer. We can spend every day thanking God, asking God to help others, and reflecting on God's love. What form will your prayers take?

     Finally there is the practice of sacrificial giving and works of love. What ministries need our gifts of time, talent, and money? We can start with the ministries of our congregation, but we don't have to stop there. How might we give sacrificially? Again, that means giving something up in order to support ministry. What works of love can we do? Feeding the hungry; advocating for the poor, sick, oppressed, and helpless to our leaders; and visiting the sick or depressed come to mind. What acts of love come to your mind?

     In all of this we need God's help. God gives us many gifts including everything that we have, the written word, and the spoken words of encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. In Baptism and the Lord's Supper we receive Christ himself, who is the Living Word of God. In all of these things the Holy Spirit is working to transform us into God's loving children.

     During this time of Lent may all of us recognize what the Holy Spirit is working in us and through us.  

Pastor Tom      

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Lessons for Sunday, March 5, 2017
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

THIS WEEK

Wednesday   9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/Chapel
                     10:00 am Bible Study
                     11:30 am Ash Wednesday Service †
                     7:00 pm Ash Wednesday Service †


Thursday      9:00 - 1:00 pm  KOK Preschool
                     6:00 pm Couples Night at Lil' Cooperstown

Friday         9:00 - 12:00 pm KOK Preschool

Saturday     9:30 - 11:30 pm SOV Choir rehearsal

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services