April  2019

Dear Friends,
     As we move through this season of Lent, we remember the journey that Jesus made to Jerusalem in the final weeks of his life and ministry before he went to the cross. It is a time when Christians historically have taken time each day to reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice by giving up something of value (like chocolate!) or adding something beneficial (like a midday time of prayer). The 40 days of Lent originally began as a 40-day time of preparation for baptism candidates who were then baptized on Easter Sunday. In a similar way, all of us who have been baptized can take these days before Easter to reflect on our prayer life, our walk with Jesus and how our faith effects all of our relationships.
     I hope that the messages on some of the parables of Jesus found in Matthew have been as disruptive to you as they have been to me. Disruptive in the same way we disrupt the soil when we seek to plant something new. They are more than charming stories Jesus told to make a point. The parables, when taken seriously, should surprise us, maybe shock us, and challenge us to look into our hearts and let Jesus clear new ground. If you have some time this month, pick one of the parables we talked about (or another one) and ask yourself, “Where am I in this story? What is God saying to me, today, in my ordinary life, through this story?”
     The next phase of our journey after Easter will build upon the fertile soil that has been tilled during Lent. Starting Sunday, April 28 we will begin together a walk through the book of Ephesians. This powerful letter will inspire and challenge us to continue our journey of growth with God both as individual believers and as a united congregation to, “grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Eph. 4:15) It is my prayer for each of us that we will grow in knowledge and grace and unity through our study together.

Celebrating the resurrection of our Lord this Easter,

Pastor Rob