Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a church family we have entered into the season of Lent like no other in my memory. The school shooting in Florida on Ash Wednesday has brought us grief and much, much more. Lent began in darkness, sadness and bewilderment. Then we were once again shocked into the reality of our mortality when a beloved church member, Joan Swett, was stricken down following worship in a church she loved and served. The long vigil which can keep us on the edge between life and death has ended. Joan has died. Her favorite holiday was Easter. Now as I write, Stanley Byczkowski, has just left us with death behind him leaving us with more loss to endure. We will always miss those whom we love and who have died
What is there for us to do but rely on the inner resources of faith ready to meet one another with love and comfort? We can be cautious in our conversation not dismissing our loss nor trying to make sense of it. I sink into God’s grace where there is a familiarity of human frailty and my complete reliance on a God who remains God in my small world of daily concerns and complaints. Let us meet and greet each other as if our lives depended on the sacred space God intends for us away from the warring madness of human invention. We can meet each other with kindness, understanding and a peace that passes our understanding.
It is Lent and like no other in my memory.
No matter how we might pretend otherwise, we are not capable of fending off the insults, the injuries and the suffering of being human. The church is under a kind of assault that is all too common in our world where death seems to rob us of our sanity and depletes our resources and our reserves.
Sisters and brothers, come to the living waters of your baptism. Come to the garden and pray. Come to worship in sacred silence. Be in the grief at the foot of the cross. Raise your face to the morning sun of Easter to await the blessing God intends for us and for this world. We rely on God, the strength, the source, the rainbow and the salvation of our lives. God in Jesus Christ has been here before us. Follow Jesus the best you are able. This is who we are as disciples.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
God bless you and keep you, Pastor Christine