(Posted March 2, 2017)
More information about 2019 Lenten and Easter services are available here.
Spring Around First Church – I ventured out on our front lawn this afternoon, primarily to take a look at the new banner that hangs from our pillars. It proclaims a message that the United Church of Christ believes wholeheartedly, and we do, too: “Jesus didn’t reject anyone. Neither do we.” As I was standing over by the Peace Pole, I watched as two middle schoolers walked past, stopped to look up at the banner and commented about the message. Obviously the banner is being noticed.
As I stood there, out of the corner of my eye I saw tiny green shoots emerging from the still gray winter earth around the base of the peace pole. Last November 13 when we held our Remembrance Sunday our congregation walked outside after the service and planted crocus bulbs in memory of those we are missing in our lives. And behold --- life emerges yet again, to provide in a few short weeks color and sweet recollection to sweep away the dinginess of winter. These bulbs’ long sleep under a mountain of snow has prepared them, like our own trust in God, to believe in the greening of God’s world. Our love for those who have preceded us has not been destroyed, but instead, has waited for the benediction of stronger light and melting snows to rise again.
We are back in the Sanctuary this Sunday after needed repairs to the heating system. And, this Sunday’s communion service focuses on Love. That may seem strange, since our Gospel focuses on those 40 days that Jesus wandered in the wilderness, vulnerable, hungry and very human, and was visited by Satan who tried every way possible to tempt him. While love and darkness may not seem related, they certainly are. Like the crocus bulbs themselves, light calls our love into the open, where it defeats any shadow. Without a doubt. That’s the message of Lent. It’s the time in our lives to sweep away the dark debris of our broken natures, and to let our souls breathe and reach up to God. Come join us Sunday back in our sanctuary! -- Pastor Pat Kriss