Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Our letter is an invitation for a conversation rather than a word bashing. I'm not sure how it will pan out but it has brought to light the reality that when Jesus calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, he isn't just referring to the neighbors that make us happy, but also the ones that make us confused, sad, and angry. If love is our guiding principle, then conversation where we can listen to one another must happen. While it isn't always easy to work on solutions rather than to lash out at others, it is what I feel my family is called to do and to be.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Why Ash Wednesday?
This morning a friend asked me a similar question. So it got me thinking on my morning commute into work. Why Ash Wednesday? A simple enough question, with a perhaps simple answer: for me this day marks a special day in the life of our faith community where we come together, collectively to remember that we frequently miss the mark, in other words we sin. Today reminds us that this faith journey we are on is not one where we are in it only for ourselves, but we do have shared responsibility as communities of faith, as members of the human race. So much of scripture reminds us of our connectedness to community and our need to be mindful not just of ourselves or our nuclear family, but of everyone.
Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are all flawed. I think about my own desire to have everything just so. It bothers me that the paint on my walls have white marks showing through, it bothers me that my car desperately needs to be washed, but today it is OK, because the dirt and imperfections are a reminder in a small way that I am not God and that life can be very messy.
Today (like any day should be) we are invited to come as we are: To be open to being honest and vulnerable, to not have it all together.
So today we place ashes on our foreheads to remember that we need God, our community of faith needs God, because of our brokenness and of our world’s brokenness. We gather today to acknowledge that we need healing and our communities need healing.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
On Wednesday, February 22, we enter once again into the church season of Lent. I recently read an on-line article using the imagery of our church community being midwives as we help to each other along in this period of introspection, transformation, and new life.
Lent isn’t just a time for personal introspection, a marathon of letting go and challenging our self-will. It is a time to be mindful of everyone in our church, as together we prepare once again to receive the Good News of Jesus resurrection.
Once again, we have young people in our congregation preparing themselves for baptism during this holy season. There may be some of you who are discerning a path to ministry in the church. Our congregation is still in a period of discernment during this season as we pray and clarify God’s call to us in our location within El Paso.
This year during Lent, we will provide in our worship service time for silent prayer in the sanctuary along with prayer stations throughout the sanctuary. I hope that this will heighten our communal experience of prayer with God in worship.
As a congregation that has mission at its core, I think that we can tweak how we approach Lent this year, based upon Isaiah 1:16-17, which reads “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” As we prepare to enter into Lent, rather than give up something simple like chocolate or your favorite soft drink, maybe give it up and then place aside the money you would have spent on those items and then donate it. You might even take a certain week-day meal, let’s say Monday’s evening meal and have beans and rice for dinner and put aside what you did not spend as an offering to the Food Pantry.
Or maybe you want to give up a Saturday morning of catching up on your favorite TV shows that you have DVR’d and instead go out to Jardín De Milagros to help plant the spring/summer crop.
I hope you can join us for our Soup and Study on Wednesday at 5:30 starting on February 29th. We will be looking at the topic of Abrasive Grace from the perspective of the book of Galatians.
What do you plan on giving up or doing to help someone out this year?
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