Good Morning to you, Church!
Well, spring is springing, isn’t it? The snow is melting, mud season is upon us, the birds are returning, and sugaring efforts are in full swing. What a wonderful time to be alive, as the earth awakens from its winter slumber once again!
Here’s the news for this week:
Rev. Rich Hinkle to preach and lead worship this Sunday.
Please join us for worship this Sunday, as Pastor Rich brings us a word from the Word.
Terrance Summers to be Baptized on April 3rd
If you didn’t get to meet Terrance at church this past Sunday, make sure to find him and introduce yourself in the coming weeks. Terrance has been coming to our church for over a month now, and has decided that we’re the sort of church family he wants to be part of. In addition to this, he has decided that he wants to welcome God into his life in a public way by being baptized. If you’d like to be part of this celebration, make sure you’re at church on April 3rd!
Emailing The Sunday Bulletins
We’ve had a request for the bulletins to be emailed to everyone on a weekly basis, so that those who continue to watch the service from home can still participate in the liturgy and hymn singing.
Claire will begin sending out these emails on Saturdays. If you do not wish to be on this email list, please let me know and we’ll take your name off the mailing list.
Tenebrae Service to be held on Good Friday
This year for Holy Week we will be holding a special service on Good Friday called a tenebrae service. The word tenebrae means darkness, or shadow, in Latin. In this simple service, we will begin with 13 candles lit– one for each of the disciples and Jesus. Throughout the service, the story of holy week will be told, and as the story progresses, each of these 13 candles will be extinguished, until there is only darkness left. This will mark the end of the service, when everyone will be invited to leave in silence.
More than any other gathering during holy week, tenebrae services make real the impact of Jesus’ death on the cross. And the tension it creates then brings into greater relief the joy and resurrection of Easter Sunday. I hope you will consider joining us for this special service.
Holding onto the Light
Friends, as I read the news each morning, I struggle with feeling crushed by the darkness in the world right now. Do you know that feeling too? Listening to the state of the world, I am tempted to be overcome by fear and swallowed by the shadows.
But one thing we know from Scripture is that even in the bleakest moments of our history, God is there in the darkness with us. That is one of the most important promises that God makes to us, and it’s part of the power of the crucifixion. God reaches to the furthest ends of the universe– even into utter darkness– to be with us. Psalm 139:7-12 puts it this way:
Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
Dear Hearts, God does not promise us that we won’t ever be plunged into the depths– that we will not face the strife of shadows. Struggle is part of what it means to live in God’s creation. But no matter how deep we fall, and no matter what we face, God is still with us in those moments. And because we know that with God, darkness is as light, we can be assured that there is reason for hope. The darkness cannot overtake us when we find God’s presence.
This week, when you are tempted to fall into the pit, I encourage you to find God’s presence in the situation. Where do you see God in this experience? The light is there, if you have the eyes to see it.
God is holding us together, even now.
In faith and hope,