St. Charles and Dover United Methodist Church
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Pastor's Reflection

 

 Shalom,

This is a very unique year, especially as we enter Lent – Lent begins on Valentine’s Day and Easter Sunday is April Fool’s Day – imagine the possibilities! But on a more serious side, it makes perfect sense. Why did Jesus come? To show us the face of God and to show that God’s love is limitless and given to all. That makes Valentine’s Day a perfect beginning! We encounter and experience love is so many different ways and on so many different levels. And God certainly played a trick on the world when Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again. Bottom line? I love the bookends of Lent and Holy Week that occur this year.

“Lent is an opportunity for spiritual and personal examination, a time to study our relationship with God and others, a time to improve those relationships and make them more meaningful. But our desire for a deeper connection to God, one another, and all of God’s creation has to compete with the rest of life. Our spiritual practices go up against our everyday lives, busy schedules, work and family demands, emotional trials and more. We might feel our wheels spinning, that we are in the same place we were last year, as if our lives were one ongoing circle” (from “Seasons of the Spirit”).

I began this year with a focus on some deep spiritual work, tying into the seasons and the gifts they bring and a focus on our image and likeness with God. It began on vacation and I am still trying to create the space in my day to keep that focus. As I write, today’s devotion was about ‘stepping off the treadmill’. Often we do feel like the hamster on the wheel in the cage, running in place and getting nowhere. As the quote above says we have very busy, very cluttered lives. Sadly we are very willing to complain about it, but not to make changes. Once patterns are established they are hard to change.

So we hope in gathering together in worship, your personal devotional time, and times of service during Lent will give us all opportunities to develop new fulfilling and spiritually nourishing patterns in our lives. Our Wednesdays together will focus on the truth that we are made for connection by a God who is already connection (the topics for our Wednesdays together are included in this newsletter). Our Sundays this month will focus on healing, new life, loving commitments, and an inclusive, large view of family. In “From the Pulpit” there are suggestions of ways in which you can make the scriptures and times of worship come alive in your life each week.

What are you willing to add to your faith life this Lent? How about beginning with a commitment to be a part of all the worship opportunities so we can together encounter the richness of this season?

God may speak to you about a way we can serve others – share that with your church family and let’s do it together!

May this season of Lent open you to the presence of God in ways that amaze you!

                                                                                    Pastor Heather