“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30
These words directly address the life of our congregation this Lenten season and beyond. As our congregation has been exploring prayer during Lent, I have been moved by your openness to share your prayer life with me. You have totally exposed your soul. You have shared your deepest wounds and pains and concerns. I more mindful than ever of the burdens and worries you carry with you through life.
I hope that you have grown in your prayer life. I hope and pray that your conversations with God have strengthened as you trust God. This faith in God, made possible through the work of the Holy Spirit, is a great gift He has given us. He desires to be in communion with us and when we avail ourselves of his grace, our burdens, worries, and concerns are much lighter.
I hope parents and grandparents have shared their prayer life with the children in their lives. Your example to these impressionable children play an enormous role in how they seem themselves in relation to God. In their adolescent years and beyond, the recall the deep personal thoughts and experiences with God you have shared with them. You may know of what I speak. There was a moment in my mother’s later years that I overheard her say her nightly prayers.That voice has stuck with me since.
We live in a broken world. It has always been broken since Adam and Eve. All creation is broken. The good news of this season is that God is with us. God works through His church at bringing the good news in word and sacrament and mutual consolation and forgiveness of sins. This is the heart and soul of who we are. We are HIS.
As we move forward into the season of Easter let us be intentional at availing ourselves to those gifts of word and sacrament. The great thanksgiving of Easter, the celebration of the risen Lord is not just for a day but as a way of life. The sacraments and mutual consolation are gifts from God to be practiced regularly. And in so doing, we are fed and uplifted and strengthened for our journey. We are asked and encouraged by God to be; peacemakers, evangelist, teachers, generous givers, and more, so that all may know of His love. The disciplines of word and sacrament are needed to be his disciples in the world.
Peace be among you, so you may know God’s love personally for the sake of the world.
Peace be among you, so that you can lead a peaceable life.
Peace be among you, so that those around you will experience Gods’ love.
Peace be among you, until the day of Jesus Christ’s return.
~In His Service