Assistance Ministry Announcement
We are excited to announce that our Assistance Ministry program will resume serving and welcoming guests Monday, February 1st from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. We look forward to seeing our guests!
Online worship will continue at Messiah Lutheran Church. We will post our weekly worship services found on the Messiah Lutheran Church Facebook group. To receive worship notifications, you can subscribe to our email list by selecting the About Us tab on the left, then click join our email list. Updated information will be sent when it becomes available.
Lenten Reflections: Here comes the sun
The term “Lent” comes from an Old English word meaning “Spring.” The linguistic connection is that during this season the minutes of daylight dramatically “lengthen.”
That phenomenon has been evident over the past few days. The sun’s rays have been getting stronger. The sun stands higher in the sky when I go out for a walk in the morning. My spirits get a lift from the return of the sun and the prospect of Spring ahead.
There is a clue here about the meaning of Lent. The season is not really about being gloomy for our sins; it’s about preparing ourselves to receive the goodness of God.
Like parents getting ready for the birth of a child, or gardeners raking leaves from the garden, Christians follow the disciplines of Lent to be prepared to receive the gifts of God—the goodness of creation, the forgiveness of sins, and the promise of a resurrection life in Jesus Christ.
So what gifts of God are you getting ready for? In what areas of life are you longing for God’s grace to be felt? How can you prepare for that?
The ELW worship book includes a hymn on this theme (#329) with lyrics written in the 1980s by a Benedictine monk, John Patrick Earls. He taught for many years in Minnesota, so we can assume he knew a lot about waiting for spring. (The tune is by Carl Schalk, a prolific Lutheran composer who was born in Des Plaines, Illinois, and taught church music for many years at Concordia University in River Forest.)
As the sun with longer journey
melts the winter’s snow and ice,
with its slowly growing radiance
warms the seed beneath the earth,
may the sun of Christ’s uprising
gently bring our hearts to life.
Through the days of waiting, watching,
in the desert of our sin,
searching on the far horizon
for a sign of cloud or wind,
we await the healing waters
of our Savior's victory.
Speaking of the return of the sun, I can’t help also mentioning one of the great Beatles tunes of all time.