Pastor’s Pen – March 2019

Written by Pastor's Pen - February 26, 2019 0 Comments

The Pastor’s Pen – March 2019

A month and a half from now, during our Palm Sunday worship services, we will read together the story of Jesus’ passion. This year it will be “The Passion of Our Lord according to Luke.” Once again we will hear about Jesus and his disciples sharing the Passover meal the night before he died, about Jesus being betrayed and denied by two of his disciples, and about the religious and political authorities interrogating Jesus and then sentencing him to death. From the cross, we will hear Jesus forgive the ones who are crucifying him, promise Paradise to a dying criminal, and commend himself to his heavenly Father.

As a way of entering more deeply into this story, during this year’s mid-week Lenten services I will be offering a reflection on five of the characters whom we meet in the story. But instead of focusing on major characters like Peter, Judas and Pilate, I’m going to have us spend time with people who might be considered more minor characters:

• The owner of the house where Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover meal;

• The insurrectionist, Barabbas, whom the crowd asked Pilate to release;

• Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry Jesus’ cross;

• The centurion at the foot of the cross who declared that Jesus was innocent;

• Joseph of Arimathea, who provided the tomb where Jesus was buried.

As we look at the ways in which each of these “minor” characters was affected by their interaction with Jesus, we will also be thinking about what Jesus’ suffering and death means for us. Can we see ourselves in any of these characters? Are there ways in which their experience with Jesus is similar to our own? What can we learn from these characters that can help guide us in our walk of faith? These are some of the questions that we will be considering.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6. Our 7:00 p.m. Ash Wednesday service will include the imposition of ashes and the celebration of Holy Communion. On each of the following five Wednesdays beginning March 13, a soup supper will be served downstairs in Johnson Hall at 6:00 p.m. A congregational hymn-sing will be held in the sanctuary at 6:45 p.m., and the 30-35 minute worship service will be begin at 7:00 p.m. I hope you will plan on including these Wednesday evening services in your Lenten observance.

The story of Jesus’ passion is at the very center of our Christian faith. I look forward to what God will be revealing to us as we spend time with some of the characters in the story.

May God’s blessings be with us during this season of Lent.

Pastor Selbo

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