For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
Lent, the 40 days before Easter, is a holy time for facing those things we would rather avoid. It is a time for mourning our failures, a time for breaking down our egos, a time for planting new habits and ways of living, a time for weeping over the rampant evil in our world, a time for walking alongside Jesus towards the cross. Through this dark and difficult passage, through facing our individual and collective failure, we learn how God reclaims even the most ugly parts of ourselves to make them beautiful. We learn how even the ugliness of the crucifixion is reclaimed for the glory of salvation. But oh how much we’d rather skip ahead to the happy ending! Easter is so much better than Good Friday!
But here’s the ironic truth: Easter is meaningless without Good Friday. And during those times in my life when I have chosen to embrace the Lenten journey (or when God has forced me to without my consent) the miracle of Easter has been so much brighter, so much more alive.
And so I invite you to get serious about Lent this year. Come to church every Sunday for “Famous Last Words” a sermon series on what Jesus said on the cross. Come to Bible Study on Wednesday nights for new insight from the Word of God and the words of friends around the table. Come to AA meetings on Thursday nights to begin the journey of recovery. Come to God in prayer every morning by using The Upper Room devotional. Come to a new understanding of God’s love for you by giving up those things that get in between you and the heavenly Father who cherishes you.
On Ash Wednesday we’ll gather together to begin this journey through the darkness. The only way out is through, and God does not intend for us to take this road alone.
Come join us and be changed.
The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be yours,
Katy Shedlock, Pastor
Rockford Community United Methodist Church
February 10 at 6 pm
Wednesdays at 6 pm, February 17 - March 23. Join us for soup supper and discussion!