So, Lent started… and I missed it. Our second kid came down with the flu last week, and I’ve been home all this week with headaches and body aches. I was sorry to miss the Ash Wednesday service, but grateful to Gretchen Larson-Wolbrink for leading the service in my absence. It sounds like it was a special time for old and young alike. Speaking of, if you’re interested in a wonderful Lenten resource for families with young children, here’s one that Jennn Partlow found from the Jesus Storybook Bible.
As uncomfortable as it’s been to be sick at home (and to miss a week of productivity), it feels like a strange gift to begin Lent this way. Lent is a stripped-down, wilderness sort of season when we’re reminded of our mortality and challenged – yet again – to remember and trust our reliance on God. We’ll remember how Jesus trusted God this Sunday when we read the story of his testing in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11.
I hope to be well enough to join you on Sunday. Part of my decision will also be made out of consideration for exposure to others, a challenging dynamic in my role as pastor. As much as a pastor wants everyone to be present on a Sunday morning, I trust you all to make wise decisions about your own health and the health of the congregation, especially the vulnerable ones in it. As the likelihood of the coronavirus spreading around the world increases, it’s good to take steps to keep each other safe. On that note, as we come forward to receive communion on Sunday, a piece of bread and a small cup will be handed to you to limit potential contamination.
Life is full of trials. And, even in isolation, we’re never alone.
PS – Are you ready to get a better understanding of this congregation and the Presbyterian denomination? Are you interested in becoming a member? Are you looking for a way to connect more meaningfully to the people and the ministries here? If so, you’re ready to participate in our Presbyterians 101 class! It’s an informal, but deeply moving, way to connect. And, it’s required to officially join the church. Classes will be 10-11:30am on Saturday, March 7, 14, and 21 (with a make-up class on March 28).
Please confirm your attendance with an email to Pastor Ben: firstname.lastname@example.org. Childcare will be provided upon request. Hope to see you there!