Dear Edgeboro Friends and Family,
Typically, at this time of year in church newsletters, pastors will write something about the changing of the seasons – how it’s getting warmer and greener as we get closer to spring. While I am eagerly waiting for longer days and ditching my jacket and while I really do hope that Puxatawney Phil is wrong (He saw his shadow!), something about this mild winter, as far as snowfall is concerned, isn’t prompting me to write a message like that. I’m looking out my window right now at green grass. So maybe I’ll from the changing of the seasons in a different way.
Spring is usually a time of “firsts.” It’s the first time during the year that we see many plants and animals spring back to life. It’s also the first that we might mention when we list all four seasons. That got me thinking about my first year here at Edgeboro.
The beginning of March marks 8 months since I started and I have seen a lot of “firsts” come and go here – first sermon, first baptism, first confirmation class, first game of Darts, first taste of mints – I could go on. While there are definitely many more “firsts” to experience after my first year, it’s hard to believe it’s two-thirds of the way done. Coming up soon will be another first for me – Lent.
Lent is a season for reflection and preparation. It is a time to rid ourselves of distractions and recalibrate ourselves to continue following Jesus. To help with this, people have traditionally given up something during Lent. If this will make a difference for you during Lent, then by all means do it.
But, to go along with this season of “firsts,” others might need to try something new for the first time. There are some opportunities here at the church to do that. Some people have been learning something new about our Church’s history by playing along in our Lent Madness competition (lentmadness.org). Others might be trying something new by attending our weekly Lenten series shaped by Philip Yancey’s video study Prayer (see more in this newsletter). Some might need a fresh start in practicing generosity by giving to one of many ministries here. Are you being called to do something for the first time this Lent?
During the “first Lent” (that is, before it was even called Lent), the disciples witnessed Jesus say and do many things which led up to his death and resurrection – all of which was new to them. This is not like us. Most, if not all of us, read the story through the lens of someone that has heard it before. So, what would it be like to witness it for the first time? Let us keep this question in mind to help us along the journey this Lent.
I’m looking forward to a new season of “firsts” together.
On Christ’s journey with you,