Psalm 25:1-10, I Peter 3:18-22 and Mark 1:9-15
As I write this I am looking out the kitchen window into a beautiful, cold wilderness that won’t go away! The ice and snow are affecting us and millions of our fellow citizens throughout the USA.
And it seems like we’ve been “out of church” for not just a week but what seems like forty days! I suppose Jesus in the wilderness felt the absence of worship in the synagogues. But he was experiencing God in ways not unlike Moses and the prophets, the children of Israel in their wilderness, Israelites in their captivity to foreign powers like Assyria and Babylon.
So, now is our temporary winter and COVID absence from worship and fellowship. Prayer continues in our homes and work places, scripture study is ongoing, and our friends and family in Christ are not far removed from us!
When we do gather again in our sanctuaries or “on the ether waves” we will rejoice and be glad. And we will repent, look inward and outward, as we enter those Forty Days in preparation for Holy Week and Easter. We are marked by the sign of the Cross wherever we are whether shut in or moving about. Marked as we are by the Life and Death of Christ, we know our wilderness is only temporary, transient, and to be left behind as we enter our Promised Land and life in the midst of the Kingdom of God!
Fear not the cold nor the heat but rejoice in the warmth of God’s care for us! Rejoice that you have brothers and sisters in Christ. May the time in whatever wilderness you are going through, be also a time of the love of Jesus for you!
Let us look forward to our worship time together whenever that day appears! Prepare your hearts for the Forty Days of Lent whether at home, at work, in the community, in our sanctuaries, and wherever you carry forth in your mission and witness!
Pastor Barry †