Pastor’s Devotions #118

“One Wind Swept January Day”

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.”
Psalm 39:4

 

It was all gone. Houses turned to match sticks. Memories and belongings turned to rubble. A surprise January tornado struck an unsuspecting town in Alabama. One life was lost. 30 people injured. A destructive pathway was cut through the heart of the town and left an unbelievable wake of wreckage behind. Lives were shattered, tattered and torn to shreds.

Here I stand, on that same January day, mudding and taping and sanding dry wall in my guest house. I have been working and refining for hours – a nick here, and bubble there, a scar sanded away. Such a different experience. I’m watching the eagles fly, while others watched their homes fly. It seems surreal. But who is to say what tomorrow might bring? In one brief moment, surprising winds could whip up on Camano Island and take down a tree and tear through my home. So many things in this world can be ripped right out from under us, just as it did for the people of the crimson tide.   

Tomorrow, we begin the Season of Lent. Lent is to be a time of deep reflection and clearer perspective regarding one’s faith. Tomorrow night, at our Ash Wednesday Worship service – we will be reading probing Scriptures to help us reflect upon the condition and pace of our walk of faith.

We will read about David, looking deeply into his own life as he wrote Psalm 39. He writes, “Lordremind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeting away.” He continues, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends to nothing.” He concludes the psalm with these words, “Hear my prayer, O LORD! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest – a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. Spare me so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.”

Yes, we are travelers passing through. So many things can be taken from us in this uncertain world. But one thing can never be torn away. One thing remains certain. The love of God, shown through his Son, Jesus Christ. Lent concludes with Holy Week. And Holy Week concludes with Easter Sunday. All of our reflections and journeys are to lead us to the clear and certain perspective that life is finally, truly found in Him. And the truth is, nothing can separate us from that love in Christ Jesus. We remain safe and secure when we receive Jesus’ final words from Matthew’s Gospel: “Surely, I am with you ALWAYS, to the end of the age.”

No matter what winds are whipped up, may the wind of the Holy Spirit sweep through this Lenten Season and bring you greater strength and greater ability to stand.

Hope to see you tomorrow – Ash Wednesday Worship – 7 p.m.

God Bless You All,
Pastor Mark 



Pastor Mark’s March Blog

 

Pastor Mark’s March 2020 Blog . . .

 

 

5th SUNDAY WORSHIP

Sunday, March 29, 2020 – 9:45 a.m.

 

For the past few years, we have taken advantage of the 5th Sunday’s of the month and have worshipped as one body. Typically, we have gathered for a shortened worship service in the sanctuary and then eat breakfast together in the fellowship hall. 5th Sunday celebrations were halted during the remodel project because we had no place to eat together. Now that the fellowship hall is finished, we are planning a twist.  March 29    we will hold our worship service in the fellowship hall. Following the service, we will then share an extended coffee hour together.

For the past months, we have talked about the many and various ways we can use our new space for mission. I am going to talk more about that on the 29th. Not only will we talk about mission, but also experience worship together as mission in this new space.

As more groups have been using this space, positive feedback continues to pour in. People who have attended The Gathering Place meals, ConneXion events, Youth activities, and fellowship time have all been very pleased with the renovation. It’s an exciting time!

 

The Season of Lent is fast approaching.

Ash Wednesday will arrive next week, February 26, 2020.

We will be exploring a series by Adam Hamilton, entitled, “Simon Peter: Flawed yet Faithful Disciple”.

Peter was not rich or educated, but was familiar with hard work. He was quick-tempered and impetuous, but possessed a passion that would change the world. He left everything to follow his teacher, yet struggled with doubt and fear. We will follow and learn from Peter, through the highs and lows.  We can identify with much of Peter’s journey. And we have much to learn and be inspired by this full throttle follower of Jesus Christ.

Come, join the journey! Lenten ConneXion (Ash Wednesday) begins with dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 6:00 p.m.