A Fresh Start…

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Winter will have its way but still the spring comes.

Winter is a fitting time to consider that until spring comes, all remains dead, dormant. The bulbs and buds long for the spring warmth and rains to waken them. The brown hues linger on, the temperatures chill. A fitting season indeed to consider that we too are dead and dormant, lingering and chilled, or as Paul writes, “You were dead in your trespasses and sins…” (Ephesians 2:1).

And yet that is not how the story ends.

As resurrection people we enter this season not as if once again dead or dormant but to remember — to be stirred — that we have a risen Savior who has called us out of our tombs and raised us to new life. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). We are not a people most to be pitied (as if the resurrection were a mere fairy tale) but a people who are raised to new life by the resurrected Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:12-20).

Winter will have its way… but still the spring comes!

Yes, in the winter, in this season of Lent, we remember the “…awfulness of our sin which brought about the agony of the garden, …the nailing of Jesus to that accursed tree. We remember that Jesus is forsaken so we would not be, and we remember that it is only by His wondrous love that He would not let us die” (Lutheran Book of Prayer).

This is the purpose of Lent: keeping us rooted in the vine apart from Whom we can do nothing (John 15:1-5); keeping our minds set on things above, fixing our eyes on the One who is the author and finisher of our faith (Colossians 3:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-3).

It is the season in which we cry out with David:

God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
put a fresh wind in my sails!

Psalm 51:10-12 (The Message)

I encourage you to enter into this season, in communion with God and with one another not only on Sunday mornings but also on Wednesday evenings. On Wednesday, March 2nd we will worship on Ash Wednesday, receiving the gifts of repentance and redemption. Then the following Wednesday, March 9th through April 6th we will gather for Soup Suppers where we will share a meal, worship, and spend the night of Jesus’ betrayal as we consider the passages of John 13-17. Let these midweek encounters be part of the fresh start, the breath of God, the fresh winds in your sails.

Winter will have its way… but still the spring comes. Hallelujah!

Pastor Jon