From Pastor’s Desk
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It was a heart-rending experience. Beth was a beautiful young woman. The automobile accident left her face terribly disfigured. Had great hope for her. It would take a long series of painful surgical procedures but eventually Beth emerged from them restored and radiantly beautiful.
We are truly beautiful people. After all, we were created in the very image of God.
“God created people in God’s image; in the divine image God created them…” (Genesis 1:27). Yet the “crash” with sin and evil have left us and our world terribly disfigured.
Jesus has great hope for us. Jesus gives us great hope. It took a painful procedure to transform us. “God made him who did not know sin to be sin so that in him we might become the very holiness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He took our sins upon himself – our disfigurement – and entered the operating suite of Golgotha. There he went through a terribly painful procedure – the crucifixion. The operation was a success. Restoration had been achieved. Victory was won.
However, we must now let it happen to us in our time and in our places.
Lent is indeed a hard time. It is a time to look in the mirror of truth and see how disfigured the “accident” of sin and evil has made us individually and collectively. Lent is also a time and place of hope. The very person and Spirit of Jesus is among us. We are assured of victory if we but become one with Jesus in the transforming procedure of salvation.
Lent is the time and place to confess. We need to confess the disfigurement of sins. We need to confess and bring to the Lord Jesus our sins and those of the world – the ones that are personal and corporate (selfishness, dishonesty, lust, anger, environmental pollution, militarism, racism, addictions, conspicuous consumption, and the like).
Lent is a heart-rending time. “Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord your God.” (Joel 2:13). It is a time of repentance and change.
Lent is a transforming time. In union with the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary, we go through something of a surgical procedure. The love and sacrifice of the crosscut away all that is ugly in us and reorders us into the very “image of God.”
Lent leads to perfection. With Jesus we emerge from the recovery room of the tomb perfectly restored. We have our sins and disfigurements and we also have Jesus Christ. Let us give ourselves to his curative powers and then we and our world will be truly and beautifully restored.
Yes, Lent is heart rending. It is also glorious and it leads to an Easter Resurrection!
God loves you and so do I!
Andrew, your pastor