March 2015

Post date: Feb 25, 2015 4:23:6 PM

Dear People of God,

During the month of March we are in the season of Lent in the church year. Lent is a time to be intentional about our relationship with God as we journey with our Savior Jesus to his trial, his cross, his grave and finally, his glorious resurrection from death. The disciplines of Lent which help us to be intentional in our relationship with our loving God include prayer, fasting, worship, Bible study, almsgiving and deeds of charity and service for our neighbors in need. Our relationship with God always includes our relationship with our neighbors. And neighbors include loved ones, friends and strangers, both near and far. The disciplines of Lent are never an attempt to somehow earn our way with God. Forgiveness, life and salvation from God are always free gifts to us through Jesus Christ: totally free to us: totally costly to Christ. But the disciplines of Lent help us to draw nearer in our loving relationships with both God and neighbor.

The scripture readings on Sundays in Lent all mention covenants. A covenant is a binding pact, a sure and certain promise. And we relate God’s covenant promise to us in baptism (to love and save us forever), to these earlier covenants. On the First Sunday in Lent, Feb 22, we hear in Genesis 9 about God’s covenant promise to Noah to never flood the whole earth again. The rainbow is the sign of that covenant. On the Second Sunday in Lent, March 1, we hear in Genesis 17 about God’s covenant with Abraham & Sarah, to make them ancestors of many, many people. On the Third Sunday in Lent, March 8, we hear in Exodus 20 about God’s covenant of the Law, especially the 10 Commandments, with his people Israel. On the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 15, we hear of God’s promise to heal the deadly snake bites of all who look with faith on the bronze serpent lifted up in the wilderness (Numbers 21:4-9). And we hear of Jesus, lifted up on the cross to die. (John 3:14-21) All who look upon Jesus in faith receive forgiveness and life. On the Fifth Sunday in Lent, March 22, we hear God promising Jeremiah(31:31-34) to make a new covenant that will allow all people to know God by heart. We see the fulfillment of that in Jesus, crucified and risen. As Christians we are covenant -baptized into the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus. And as we draw nearer to holy week, we think of “the new covenant in Christ’s blood”, the Lord’s Supper.

May we all walk deeply with our Savior Jesus during the season of Lent.

Serving God and Neighbor together with you,

Pastor Dennis