Thursday, February 26, 2009

Some dread Lent as a time of darkness that comes, for those of us in the north, just as days are finally getting longer and lighter. Many of us were taught that Lent is a season of punishment and are reluctant to wallow in our faults when the spirit of spring is right around the corner. But for me, the onset of spring, of shorter nights, is part of Lent's genius. It's less about what's in the darkness than about being able to shine Christ's light on every nook and cranny of our light hungry souls. So, even in the forty days of repentance that dust us off and clean us out to receive resurrection fresh and new, Sunday worship continues to shine that light of Christ in little resurrection celebrations. God's light has not gone out. It is ever strong enough for our darkest days. We practice receiving Christ's light in worship, not as dry runs, but as the living breathing presence of the Holy One in Three, a constantly renewable source of spiritual energy. Sometimes I think that we mistake 'information" for "transformation" thinking that if we just know enough about anything, that will solve the problems of the world. But while knowledge is certainly power, practicing information gathering instead of resurrection living can lead to 1) analysis paralysis, 2) overconfidence 3) inattention to the unknowable, but very present, power of God. As I learn to see God's creation with that living light, I see evidence of dark turning to light where attention is paid: the combined nickels and dimes of Nothing but Nets:, the family receiving energy assistance and eager to help another in turn, youngsters devastated by death too-soon who weave loving community around each other and bereaved families. I see adults with renewed "ahahs" about who Jesus is and what difference that makes. We are all learning what it means to living Holy Spirit light in a world fascinated with darkness. May your Lent be marked by welcoming rather than wallowing, and may any dark corners in your soul invite Christ in to bring new life. Keeping in Touch: Check readfieldumc.blogspot tomorrow 11:00 am or after, as we begin our online Lenten discussion. Please pray for ... ...all those suffering form the flu, especially the frail old and young members of our communities. ...sufferers from the effects of darkness, physical or spiritual. ....students waiting for college acceptance and finance package notification. ....the UMVIM team in the last stages of preparation for trip #4 .....Rev. Russ Peppe and those preparing wonderful worship for March 8 and 15. The Pritchards have charge of the stone soup pot following worship this week, march 1. (One vegetarian and-rumor has it-one chicken this week). Drop your contribution in on your way to worship! We are just 15 chairs shy of a full fellowship hall. (No that's not a metaphor...). If you've already signed up to sponsor one or more chairs, thankyou! Please send your sponsorship check to the office as soon as feasible so that we can pick up the last batch. And if you haven't sponsored one yet, please consider helping with this important hospitality resource.

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