Light has come into the world. John 3:10
The damage that the storm did to the trees, and the disruption that it brought to our lives ( two nights and two days, and counting, without power in my house in Sudbury), is inconvenient for people like us, who want–more than almost anything else–to control our environments and be masters of our time. We get the feeling that we are truly children of earth.
In Lent we are invited to meditate on our lives as children of earth. A storm at this time of year can be a timely lesson.
For example, as we come through dark, shivering nights ( the kind of experience we arrange our lives to avoid) we face the contingency and tenuousness of our circumstances, the temporary failure of our dwellings and systems of support.
But being children of the earth is not all hardship. It is a joy and a blessing too. When the weather knocks down our power lines, we might experience unexpected quiet, without all the beeping and blinking and flashing.
We flood the darkness of our lives with electric light. The storm brings deeper darkness, new fears and dangers and, if we are brave enough to receive it, blessed peace. We might be thankful for a little bit of light that leads us safely through a dark house. The light of God’s love can seem like that: just enough to lead us through the darkness and potential dangers of life.
Today, members and friends of Peace, without power in their houses, have been going in and out of the fellowship hall. The kids are playing games. The adults are reading and talking.
In the readings for Sunday we come to a gospel text that includes one of the most familiar passages of scripture: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…. John 3:16. I can hear Billy Graham reading that in his preacher’s voice: …that whosever believeth in him…
The Gospel brings light into our lives. We’ll meditate on the images of life, light and love mixed into this passage from John.
This month we will collect jelly and jam for A Place to Turn in Natick. Place your donation in the basket before you come into church.
Family Promise weeks begin Sunday. You open your church building to families in need of temporary shelter. Thank you.
High school confirmation students meet with Pastor Johnson during the faith formation hour. No afternoon confirmation class this Sunday, March 11.
Midweek prayer Wednesday at noon.
Palm Sunday, March 25, worship at 9:30 am. This is the end of the Family Promise weeks. Confirmation students wash quilts and blankets at the coin laundry in Maynard.
Maundy Thursday 7:30 pm.
Good Friday 7:30 pm.
Sign up in the narthex for Easter flowers and for the Easter morning Easter egg hunt and potluck.
The world did not know God through wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:21.
Adam and Eve, Expulsion from Eden,
Thomas Cole 1828, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
During the weeks of Lent we meditate on the cross as the symbol of our faith, meaning the emblem of what Christians should do, the message we should bear to the world. Two intersecting lines tell the story of salvation. The law and the gospel–God’s holy word–intersect in the angles of the cross. We’ll focus on Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth, which begins with a reorienting statement about the cross, for the Corinthians, who seemed to be divided, opinionated, and not exactly loving. One might say that Paul steps in, locks the door, and sharply demands attention. The cross breaks down divisions between people. The cross quiets loud opinions. The cross establishes that love–not knowledge–is of highest value in the kingdom of God.
Faith formation and adult forum discussion at 11 am.
Confirmation Sunday at 4 pm.
Midweek, midday prayers in Lent, Wednesday at 12 noon. Bring your lunch.
Family Promise weeks begin next Sunday. Sign up to serve at the Family Promise Metrowest website. Young people will be collecting quarters for washing quilts and sheets at the coin laundry in Maynard on the last day of Family Promise.
If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34
Christ Carrying the Cross
We’ll explore some of the Christian meanings in this passage and in the text that surrounds it. What does it mean to take up your cross? Your cross? We know that the cross of Christ stands for something, but what is your cross? In Lent we try to do what Jesus does. That’s how we become disciples. We’re not invited to be observers; we are invited to be participants. That’s the underlying meaning of Lent. Jesus called to the crowd and to his disciples and invited them to follow him. Most people stayed with the crowd and observed from a distance. Most people today-even most Christians-remain with the crowd. A few followed Jesus. They changed the world.
Forum on our website, email and communications at 11 am.
We need to update our membership directory and our friends mailing list. If you have some time to spend on this task, contact Pastor Johnson.
Confirmation Sunday at 4 pm.
Midweek prayer: Wednesday at 12 noon.
Family Promise weeks begin Sunday, March 11. Sign up for a volunteer position by visiting the Family Promise Metrowest website and clicking on the “Cervis” link.
When my bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. Genesis 9:16
The season of Lent began Wednesday. It lasts for forty days and forty nights, in imitation of Jesus, who was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan (Mark 1:15). The invitation to Lent, which was heard on Ash Wednesday, and which will be read again on Sunday, calls disciples of Jesus to contend against evil and resist whatever leads us away from love of God and love of neighbor. Some of us are good at contending against evil that we identify in other people, but not so good at contending against evil inclinations in ourselves. The spiritual struggle of Lent is within each of us.
The good news, for Christians who claim a Christian life of discipline/discipleship, is that we are not alone in our struggle. Mark writes that there were angels around Jesus throughout his wilderness ordeal. Messengers of God (the saints, hymn writers, teachers) bring us the word and the sacraments. As we destroy ourselves with greed and violence, finger-pointing and vitriol, the good news is that God works to help us with grace and love in Christ. We hold grudges; God forgives. We bear false witness; God is truth. We destroy ourselves and the world around us; God creates, recreates, restores and saves. So, in Lent, we are invited to return to God through self-examination and prayer and acts of kindness.
Earlier this week the council talked about the property repairs that have been identified. An adult forum Sunday will be a discussion of these.
Prayers in Lent Wednesdays at 12 noon. Responsive prayer and a reading from Luther’s Catechism.
Bring in canned goods for A Place to Turn in Natick.
No confirmation class this Sunday, February 18. The next class is Sunday, February 25 at 4 pm.
Family Promise host weeks begin Sunday, March 11. Sign up for a volunteer position on the Family Promise Metrowest website. Scroll down under Get Involved to the Cervis link. Confirmation students will help with the laundry on Sunday, March 25.