I think at this time of year I always struggle a little bit. The big pastoral push of Advent and Christmas is done with, and there’s a lull before Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. We’ve had a high, and now we’re in the low before another big high. Besides this, there’s always my reflection on people I saw in the pews at Christmas whom I don’t expect to see again for many months; and also all those whom I had hoped to see at Christmas, at least, who didn’t darken the congregation’s door at all.
Besides that, as I age I’m finding I much prefer the sunshine and warmth of all the other seasons besides winter. I like getting outside, hearing the birds, smelling the soil, marveling at the beauty of the trees leafing out and the flowers pushing up to unfold their blooms, riding my bike and feeling the air
Maybe you find yourself the same way? Katie always reminds me that it’s a blessing patiently to walk and wait through each season, because it’s a reminder that our Lord’s world keeps on going as He has ordered it. This is true, and it is a good reminder. It’s rooted in God’s promise made to Noah following the flood: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” This is right after God’s promise of never again sending a flood to destroy all life.
Perhaps another way to put it is like this: we live every day in the providence, blessing, and grace of God. I find, thinking in this way, I am able to greet each day with the joy and gladness that comes with knowing that Christ Jesus has taken away my sins, as far as the east is from the west. Instead of sending a flood to destroy all life, God sends His Son to redeem and save all life. Even you and me. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
We have so much to be thankful for and to rejoice in. Lent and Easter are coming. Please prepare yourselves to come and hear the Word and receive the Sacrament in this holy time. Ash Wednesday is March 6th; Divine Service with the imposition of ashes will be at 7 p.m. that night. We’ll have Lenten midweek services each Wednesday at 7 p.m. Please put them on your calendar. Each day during Holy Week (4/15-4/20) a service will be offered at 7 p.m. Please put these on your calendar, too; make hearing the Word and receiving the Sacrament a part of your life this year.
I’ve included in the newsletter this month a statement from Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the LCMS, given in response to recent actions by the state government in New York as well as by Governor Pritzker here in Illinois to promote and even to celebrate abortion. Please give it a read, and pray. We live in the gray and latter days when great and terrible evil is celebrated as good. Lord, have mercy!
I’m praying for you. Please pray for me. God bless you.