Greetings in Christ!
I pray you’ve stayed safe and warm amidst this harsh winter weather. Despite the frigid, snowbound landscape, this season also reminds us of our love for spring and the life it brings. The dormant plants will rise to new life. The hibernating animals will wake to a new day. The imagery of God’s resurrection appears throughout creation. Thank God for that warm reminder in these chilly days.
+ Pastor Andrew is out of town Tuesday afternoon-Saturday evening at the ELCA Mission Redevelopers Conference. He is available by phone throughout that time.
+ The office is closed this Friday while both Matt and Pastor Andrew are away.
+ Across the Spectrum is this Sunday at 3pm in the Fellowship Hall.
+ This week’s Lenten service is 7pm Sunday at St. Jude Roman Catholic Church.
+ We continue to collect items for Lutheran World Relief Health Kits during Lent, including toothbrushes, nail clippers, bath-sized bar soap, combs, and bath towels.
Jesus brings some harsh truth in this Sunday’s Gospel reading. He says, “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." These words come in response to Peter’s denial that Jesus should suffer the work of the cross.
But within this, there’s a deep honesty about our faith. What good is an eternity with God if we don’t want to live with God right now? What good is heaven on earth when we ignore the movements of God’s kingdom in this place? If we deny God haven’t we already indicated how we feel about God’s future?
In the words of C.S. Lewis, “the door to hell locks from the inside.” Said another way, God remains open to offer grace and mercy to us, but if we constantly refuse the kind of grace God offers, then we design for ourselves an eternity without God. If we, like Peter, deny the work of the cross, then we deny the God of the cross.
The good news is that, though we don’t understand or comprehend the work of the cross, God remains committed to that work of grace. Despite our doubts and confusions, Jesus’ arms are open on the cross to embrace us all, deeply hoping that we all might embrace him.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Andrew Tucker
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