From Pastor Jo

 

Thank goodness it’s finally March and we can begin to look forward to the coming of spring! For many of us, this winter has been long and difficult, if not dreary, with so many cold and overcast days competing with the sun’s efforts to shine. But rest assured, brighter and warmer days are coming, and with them the first signs of new life that always arrive with the spring.

 

We are just beginning the season of Lent, a time when we dedicate ourselves to spiritual reflection and strengthening our relationships with God. In Lent, the appointed scriptures remind us of God’s good and gracious works on our behalf throughout our collective history, and help us to remember who we really are and who we are meant to be as Christians. Indeed, in many passages we are actually commanded “to remember,” but we must also consider that remembering God’s faithful deeds of the past does not mean that God has only one way of doing God’s work.

 

In the coming weeks, we will encounter a scripture passage in which God tells us: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old.” Why? Because “I am about to do a new thing” (Isaiah 43: 18-19a). Doing something new or something different is frequently a cause of great angst for many of us. There’s a big difference between the new that is additional, to which we are usually receptive, and the new that is entirely different, which we generally resist. Could it be that God is suggesting that what God will do with a future generation might be very different from what God has done in the past? Or, perhaps it isn’t what, but how God will do God’s work in the future, and this could be cause for great excitement, creativity, and hope!

 

St. John’s is currently exploring new possibilities for its ministry – a time in which God is about to do a new thing – an opportunity to find new and fresh ways to be the Church, to envision a new reality growing out of the old. Though remembering and honoring one’s cherished and sacred past can give us one perspective, it must not prevent us from moving forward into God’s new thing.

 

May the gift of the “new thing” God does for us through the risen Christ guide us as we consider these possibilities for the future, and keep us ever alert to the new things God will do through us, as we continue to minister in his name!

 

Blessings and Peace,

Pastor Jo

 

 

 

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