Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday Message

Greetings, Saints of the Valley

Chickens are a new thing for me. The owners of the stable where we have our horses have a flock of chickens of all sizes and colors wandering around randomly. They are, for me, an unending source of humor and curiosity. One old hen in particular like to jump up on things—the tractor, the half-height walls, the lower part of stable doors—and then screech in panic, afraid to jump down! One day they all insisted on following me everywhere after a spilled a little bit of horse feed on the floor; when I went searching for a broom to clean it up, they did the job for me, gorging themselves on a feast of tiny hay pellets and rice bran. What amazes me most is their randomness: and how intentional they are about it!

As we move into the season of Lent I invite you to find a way to make it a journey of intention: that it have some shape or feature that sets these few weeks apart for you as we prepare for the central Christian festival holiday of Easter. One idea might be to read slowly and reflectively through a book of the Bible.

On Wednesday evenings during Lent we gather to pray at 6:30 p.m. (following a soup supper at 5:30). Our scripture reading during the Evening Prayer service will be from the book of Acts, the continuation of the writer of the gospel of Luke, focusing on the first Christian community that would become "church". One discipline or pattern to set this season apart might be to read through the book of Acts in the Bible. It is filled with drama (who knew!?) and moves quickly. The book raises questions regularly that have consistently been part of faithful conversation among believers. There are 28 chapters in the book; about four a week through the season!

The focus of the gospel reading for this Sunday (Luke 13.31-35) puts some shape and context to Jesus journey to Jerusalem and the last days of his life. Within the context of his daily life and service (which he calls "today and tomorrow") he begins to move toward its purpose-filled outcome in the city of the faithful ("the next/third day"). The manipulative and murderous King Herod, who continues to be threatened by Jesus teaching, is of the world and cannot interfere with Jesus' holy duties. Jesus' sights are set on the city which rejects the prophets, and will in turn abandon him.

The "city" is, of course, a metaphor for the people of God who consistently reject the prophets and fear the call to faithful living in the face of the world's desire for power and control. Jesus calls Herod "that fox"; Jesus calls God's people the "brood" of a hen; that is, those little chicks, vulnerable and confused, racing around in random panic, whom Jesus wishes to gather under his wings.

May this season of Lent and your journey through the wilderness bring you comfort, hope and purpose.

Along the way,



This Week

Wednesday 5:30 p Lenten Potluck soup/bread supper
                     6:30 p  Holden Evening Prayer service

Saturday     6:00 p Movie Night at SOV

Sunday        8:30 & 11:00 a Worship
                    Scrip Sunday
                    9:45 a Adult Education
                    10:00 a Jr High SS
                    11:00 a Little Lambs SS