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Pastor’s Message

 

 

 

 

Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster.”  Joel 2:13

 
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

            I have been enjoying our Epiphany series, Behold Your King.  The reign of King Jesus makes all the difference for us!  I thought I would use this article to introduce another series coming up soon.  For Lent this year, some of the pastors in our circuit will be doing a pulpit exchange for our Wednesday evening worship. We tried to do this last year and only got about two weeks in when things got shut down, so we thought we would give it another shot this year.  Our theme is a timely one, “Return to the Lord.”  Here is a general overview of the series theme:

            In the Book of Joel, the prophet paints a vivid picture of the coming judgment of God, the Day of the Lord. The imagery is bold and terrifying: hordes of locusts swarming over the land and decimating everything. Joel’s prophecy has teeth even today as wars rage, natural disasters threaten and destroy, and our culture seems to be unraveling. But right in the middle of this frightening portent, we find a tender invitation from the Lord: “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and He relents over disaster” (Joel 2:13). God’s invitation and promise finds its fullness in Jesus Christ, who personifies and accomplishes all that God declares. During this season of Lent, we will consider the theme “Return to the Lord” and examine how the call to return played out in practical ways for the people who walked alongside Christ as He demonstrated and carried out God’s grace and mercy on our behalf, taking God’s wrath upon Himself, setting the stage for God to “turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind Him” (Joel 2:14).

            Each sermon in this series focuses on a particular event in the Passion, with a special focus on the people involved in the event. Studying the events and people helps to connect us with our own sinful nature, to emphasize how we have turned away from the Lord, and to reinforce and rejoice in God’s call for us to return to Him with all our heart.

            Ash Wednesday is February 17th, and I will be with you on Ash Wednesday.  This service’s theme, “A Call to Return” will set the stage for the whole series.  I encourage you to join us in person, or the service will be recorded and a link posted on our website.  Another way you can participate in the series is with a Lent Family Calendar (like an Advent Calendar but for the season of Lent) with a brief reading and activity for you to do individually or as a family.  You can pick these up at church at one of our Sunday services, on Ash Wednesday, or at Walk-up Communion.

            Pastor Barz will be with you on February 24th.  You will be looking at the account from Matthew where Jesus is before Caiaphus and the Council, and the theme is, “Return from False Witness.”  In the March newsletter I will introduce the rest of the themes for the series. 

           God’s blessings to all of you as we continue to “Behold our King,” and as we are called to “Return to the Lord.”           
 
In Christ,

 

Pastor Liebich