This week the adult choir will sing a round based on the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus when God is with the Israelites in pillars of cloud and fire. The words and music of Under the Sun are written by Michael O’Connor. The adult choir will also sing Be Still and Know by Ronald Nelson. This piece draws on many familiar scripture passages that all call us to listen for God, and know that God will be with us in difficult times. Jonathan will play organ music by J. S. Bach and Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi. To mark the season of Lent, the congregation will remain seated during the closing voluntary for a time of reflection at the end of each worship service.
This Sunday our Lenten Devotional booklet will be available. Look for it in the Gathering Place. Many thanks to those who participated by writing entries and submitting artwork. These words and images will guide us through the season of Lent as we ponder the question, What Shall We Do? Here is a devotion from our booklet to ponder this day, and give you a glimpse of what you will find in the collection.
Letting the catcher catch
I may speak for many when I say that the last few months have been deeply unsettling. The specter of divisiveness and hate-filled rhetoric; the occupation of the highest office in the land by a chaotic and strange leader who just seems to want the divide to deepen and widen; a Congress strangely silent on issues of tremendous import; a divided judiciary. For me personally it has been a time of losing dear members of our community as well as illness in the family, while internationally violence and cruelty are widespread. It is a difficult time.
A voice somewhere in my earshot seems to say, however, “Be still – I am with you – You are not alone – The world is Mine ultimately.” I am led to a passage from a book written by theologian Henri Nouwen recounting a conversation he had with a famous trapeze artist who “flew“ without a net. Henri asked him how he had the confidence to do this and the artist said that all he really had to do was fly, and trust.
He flew and the catcher caught him. I guess this Lenten season that is what I need to do, trust that if I dare to fly — to trust that the Catcher will catch me — I will be caught. During Lent I hope to listen for that voice that says, “Trust Me. I am the Creator. Dare to fly with Me, I will never leave your side.” I don’t know if I am that brave but I do know that I can try to find out. Can I let the Catcher catch?
Holy God, creator of the universe, forgive us for failing to see the miracle of our existence. Help us to trust that you are the only net we will ever need. Remind us that in life we belong to you, and in death we belong to you, so in this world or beyond we belong to the One who loves us into life and promises eternity through faith.
~ Lynn Noland
Faced with growing uncertainties and a restlessness about the future, this sermon series explores scripture passages which focus on uncertain outcomes and unexplored territory. Do you feel anxious about the future? Do you sense the social and political ground shifting beneath your feet? When we seem to be feeling our way day by day, attempting to put our trust in God, how does our faith comfort or encourage us? For several Sundays, we will glean from the Old and New Testaments how God’s people have always sought divine guidance when moving into uncharted waters.
Mar 5 1st Sunday of Lent, Exodus 14:10-31 (The Perils of Crossing the Red Sea) Ken preaching
Mar 12 2nd Sunday of Lent, Isaiah 43:1-7 (When you pass through the waters. . . ) Ken preaching
Mar 19 3rd Sunday of Lent, Matthew 6:25-34 (Do Not Worry? Or maybe we should.) Tracy preaching
Mar 26 4th Sunday of Lent, Deut. 30:15-20 (I have set before you life and death. . . choose life) Special Music Sunday!
April 2 5th Sunday of Lent, Isaiah 10:1-4; Luke 19:41-48 (Jesus cleanses the temple and Isaiah calls rulers and leaders to account for their actions) Communion; Ken preaching.
What Shall We Do?
Faced with growing uncertainties and a restlessness in our culture and world, this season of Lent we will explore scripture, hear sermons, and listen to music focusing on uncertain outcomes and unexplored territory. You are invited to explore this theme by sharing your thoughts in writing about what it is like to be feeling your way into the future day by day while at the same time attempting to put your trust in God. How does your faith comfort or challenge you? Please consider writing for our Lenten devotional project. Personal reflections, poems, essays and song lyrics are welcome. Offerings should be 350 words or less, and are due to by Tuesday, February 21. You will have an opportunity to sign up in the Gathering Place after worship or on line at SignUpGenius.
Please feel free to use these Scriptural resources to guide your writing:
Preaching scriptures during Lent:
Luke 19 41-48
Another source for Scripture is the Daily Lectionary. Any of these readings can be used as inspiration. You do not need to sign up for a particular day. Once the writings are collected they will be organized into a booklet that can be used as a daily devotional during the season of Lent.