Not quite what you were expecting, eh? As we begin the month of February, many will be thinking of Valentine’s Day. Well, due to an interesting feature of our 3-year lectionary calendar, February 14, 2021 is also the celebration of The Transfiguration of our Lord. What better way to transition from the season of Epiphany and into the Season of Lent than to remember that God is Love.
1 John 4:9-11 states it beautifully:
9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
True love is that which flows from God and through us to those around us. As we reflect on the sacrifice made on our behalf, we enter the season of Lent, beginning with “Ash Wednesday” on February 17, 2021. Due to concerns about COVID-19, there will be no imposition of ashes this year, but we will remember that [we] are dust and to dust [we] shall return (see Genesis 3:19).
As we proceed through the season of Lent, we will have devotions available for your daily meditations, as well as midweek devotions online on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. We will be focusing on the Gospel of Mark for our Sunday messages and recognizing that ‘seeing is not believing.’ May we continue to ‘see’ through the eyes of faith and share that gift of knowing God’s love.
Peace and Joy in Christ Jesus,
Pastor Jim Kirschenmann
As I walk the halls of Open Arms Child Development Center, I see the “carpet tiles” laid out on the floor to assist in getting the children to “line up at the wall”… One tile for each letter of the alphabet. ‘A’ is followed by ‘B’ then ‘C’ and ‘D’ and so on… somewhere around where ‘G’ should be, things get a little jumbled. Turn the corner and it almost seems to get back in order, but then after ‘W’ followed by ‘X’ comes ‘Y’ and suddenly ‘L’ and ‘M’ break in before we get to ‘Z’ – and that is turned sideways!
Interestingly enough, that seems to be a metaphor for the way 2020 has unfolded, doesn’t it?! Somewhere around where ‘G’ should be in our lives… it all seemed to go sideways. And we are all experiencing some degree of “pandemic fatigue” at this point, so trying to straighten things out just doesn’t seem to be worth the effort.
Thanks be to God (notice the Big ‘G’) that we don’t have to make sense of all this mess. He has come into our world and has begun the restoration of ALL creation. That is what we celebrated this Christmas. And that is what we can continue to celebrate as we go through Epiphany this season.
In the natural progression of the English language, that word – “epiphany” – seems to have taken on a whole different connotation in the secular world than what is meant in our faith-based lives. In today’s society, having an “epiphany” means …”an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking.” For our faith lives it means the manifestation of Christ, the divine and long-awaited savior, having come into our midst. The reality is that Christ has come and saved us from our sin and the condemnation that results from sin. The striking event that we will see at Good Friday is that He has died in our place. And the meaning that brings to us comes with His resurrection and the promise that we, too, inherit eternal life with and in Christ. What an Epiphany!
May this season bring you continuing joy as we celebrate the Light of Life enlightening our world!
Pastor Jim Kirschenmann