Friends in Christ,
For Christmas, Micah and Eli received snow saucers for sledding. However, we’ve not had much snow to try them out. If we do finally get some, I plan to take them out by the Reservoir where the horse camp is. There are a couple nice sloping hills and it’s close enough to New Burlington Church so we can warm up when we need to.
I remember as a boy I just loved winter and sledding! I grew up near Carbon, IN and we had one of these “huge hills” that we sled on. My cousins and other neighbors would come over and we would spend hours upon hours on this massive hill playing in the snow. Night and day we would sled when the snow was on. My brother, sister and I have many fond memories of that hill in the country.
Last summer I drove by our old homestead and I kind of laughed as I saw this “massive hill” for what it really is, a “long and gentle slope!” It’s funny how our perspective changes as we get older and “taller.” But to a child growing up it was an adventure. It was the best and fastest hill around. It was hours and hours of fun. It was wonderful memories made with family and friends.
In the church we often talk about the importance of, “remembering.” Of course this is Biblical. Over and over again the Israelites are called to “remember” what God had done for them. The “Passover” was celebrated in order that one would never forget God’s deliverance of his people from bondage, and so later generations could enter into this miracle God provided. “Standing stones” were erected when God did an incredible work so that future generations would “remember the story” and enter into it.
And we too, know the importance of “remembering” God’s incredible works of grace, and what it is to enter into the story so that it becomes, “our story too.” We do this each time we take the bread and cup into our hands and “remember” what God has done, and we enter into the presence of God and into the story of God in the here and now. It becomes “our story.”
This month we will enter a new season, “Lent.” Lent begins with our “Ash Wednesday” service on Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00pm. This is a time to “remember” who we are (God’s people) and where we have come from (created in God’s image out of the dust of the earth) and to whom we will return.
The season of Lent calls us to “look inward” at ourselves. It’s a time for us to look seriously at our walk with Christ and to become more intentional in our spiritual life. During Lent people usually “give up” something “important” to them. Remembering that God gave up His only Son for us, sacrificing Himself upon a cross; we give up something important to us as a way to enter into the story. During Lent we seek to be more intentional in practicing spiritual disciplines like prayer, abstinence (fasting, silence, solitude), meditating on God’s Word, and engagement (worship and fellowship). Lent calls us to “Remember” and to “participate in the here and now” in the God story.
It is my hope that this month you will make some wonderful new memories with your family and friends. And as we enter the season of Lent together, we will grow closer to God and to each other.
God’s Blessings,
Pastor Andy