(In The Life Of The Church)
Over the next six weeks we will be hearing from voices in within our community. The article will address the texts and themes from lent. Today we'll hear from Dani Miller. Dani works at the Family Abuse Center.
We are in the fifth week of Lent! The excitement is building. I myself love to get excited about things. It is extremely easy for me to become giddy about an upcoming event. You should see my reaction watching the previews for super hero and Lord of the Rings movies; I am immediately stoked for all of them! Seeing one of my favorite music artists and talking to them for the first time? Could not contain myself. (Also, when I finally talked to this person, we discussed the weather. I did not prepare well.)
Now, how patient was I in waiting for these things to happen or come about? Zero patience exhibited. I was like a small child that can only see that Hogwarts acceptance letter in my hand and the way I express myself is by hugging all of the stranger’s legs around me. And yes, I actually did that once as my mother and younger self were waiting in line for an event. Now, I understand these are just small examples of what it means to wait in my life; seeing my inept attempts to be patient and content in the waiting makes me chuckle.
So, of course my natural tendency is to jump right on ahead to Easter and Jesus’ resurrection! It is not natural for me to sit and wait and contemplate hope that has not come quite yet. Jesus still has to suffer and we must suffer with him. We wait because God is doing a new thing, and we prepare ourselves for this event. Isaiah 43:19 states, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” We have hope that God will guide and change us.
In this fifth Sunday of Lent we are not quite there. As Psalm 126:1 states, “we were like those who dream.” We are in transformation. It is happening and what we are building up to will bring shouts of joy. But, we must stay ready in this moment before. May we remind ourselves to keep our thoughts and prayers on what God is preparing and transforming us for. As Paul states in Philippians 3:10, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death…” We do not ignore current or future pain and suffering that Jesus will go through, or that we ourselves will go through. The pain is acknowledged, but it is not our final hope. There is hope for the future joy found in the resurrection. Psalm 126:6 says, “Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.”
We cannot skip over this event, we must dwell in it. Through Jesus’ suffering and death is how we can truly see the beautiful event of what the resurrection means. A common theme in the scripture for this week is looking ahead. The anticipation of here… but, not yet; of great and beautiful hope…. but, not yet.
May this prayer remind us of the path we are on.
you prepare a new way in the wilderness
and your grace waters the desert.
Help us to recognize your hand
working miracles beyond our imagining.
Open our hearts to be transformed
by the new thing you are doing,
so that our lives may proclaim
the extravagance of your love for all,
and its presence in Jesus Christ. Amen.
How have you seen this time so far as a way to slowly transform and prepare for what is to come?
SWCC Easter Egg Hunt
We still need some more volunteers to help with the Easter Egg hunt this Saturday, at the South Waco Community Center. Volunteers need to be available at 10am, and we will be done by noon. If you can help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
Toph’s Sabbatical Fund
On Sunday, March 20th, we will be taking up a special offering to help Toph on his sabbatical this summer. If you have any questions, please contact David_Wilhite@baylor.edu .
If you are new to UBC within the last 6 months, we would love to have you stay for lunch after church on April 3rd. We will provide the lunch, and give you a little more information about UBC and ways you can get involved in the life of the church here. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer on March 20 and March 27, please sign-up then if you would like to attend, or email email@example.com .
Thailand Mission Team
If you would like to support our team members going on the Thailand Mission Trip in May, you can purchase a shirt by following this link:
Jesse Washington Walk & Memorial Service
Normally we reserve the space in the newsletter for UBC or UBC related events, but we felt like this was an important moment to share in and be a part of .
Last of the Ecumenical Lent Worship Services
Is this Wednesday. Hope to see you at First Lutheran!
Work is Worship
Coffee Makers: No Coffee Makers this week
Mug Cleaners: No Mug Cleaners this week
Sunday Sermon: Lent Five: John 12:1-8
Next Town Hall March 20th after church
Chris Tweedt will be leading a series of three talks about the intersection of faith and philosophy. Talks will run in the evening from 7:30-8:30 and will take place at UBC. for more information email Chris @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 24: Perceiving God or Arguing for God?
Mar 23: What Does God Think About Suffering?
April 20: Who, If Anyone, Should We Trust about Religion?
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