Pastor’s Pen – February 2015

Written by Pastor's Pen - February 3, 2015 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen

This month we begin the season of Lent with an Ash Wednesday worship service on February 18 at 7:00 p.m.  Lent is the 40 day period (excluding Sundays which are celebrations of the resurrection) leading to Easter.  Lent is a time of reflection and renewal.  It is an opportunity for us to draw closer to the one who gave his life for us on the cross.

The word Lent originally meant “spring.”  In springtime, nature waits with eager longing for fresh growth.  Soil is prepared, seeds are planted, and shoots are tended.  During Lent, God’s people wait for spiritual growth.  We engage in practices that deepen our relationship with God, such as prayer, fasting, reading the Bible, and worship.

As I mentioned in last month’s Encounter and as you have begun to hear about on Sunday mornings, this year’s Lenten focus at St. Andrew will be a six-week study called “Unbinding Your Heart.”  Each week in my sermon (both on Sunday mornings and during our Wednesday evening Lenten services), I will be reflecting on one of the six chapters in the “Unbinding Your Heart” book.  Copies of the book are available in the narthex on Sunday mornings and in the church office during the week.  We would love to have everyone in the congregation reading along!

Each of us will also have the opportunity to participate in one of the small groups that will be meeting weekly for prayer and discussion.  Stop by the “Unbinding Your Heart” information table in the narthex to find out when and where the small groups will be meeting.  Having participated in the “Unbinding” study twice already, I can honestly say that meeting with fellow believers to pray and talk about what we are reading adds a wonderful depth and richness to the whole “Unbinding” experience.  I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to be sharing and connecting with others!

Perhaps the most important element in “Unbinding Your Heart” is a 40-day individual prayer journey.  The last section in the book offers a passage of scripture and a short meditation for each of the 40 days.  These daily readings are designed to guide us into a daily quiet time with God.  If you already take time for prayer each day, this can be a way of enriching what you are already doing.  If daily prayer has not been a regular part of your experience, this can be an opportunity to add a new dimension to your relationship with God.  Either way, I believe that you will find the daily prayer exercises to be a meaningful part of your Lenten observance.

What God wants for us more than anything is that we would be drawn closer to him.  “Unbinding Your Heart” is one of the ways in which that closeness to God can happen.  Please join me in praying that this upcoming season of Lent would be a time of growth and renewal for our whole congregation.

God’s blessings on your Lenten journey!

Pastor Selbo

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