Yes! The Sun Does Still Shine!
As I write this morning the sun is making one of its rare winter appearances. After days of gloom, the sky is blue and I am starting to feel more energy again. It’s amazing what a little light does in these dreary winter months. When the sun comes out, we’re reminded that winter does have an end, that the cycles of life continue as they have for eons.
Someone in the lectionary group recently mentioned how all the readings during Epiphany seem to mention the importance of light. We are reminded that God’s light in Jesus Christ brings hope and new life to all who are living in spiritual darkness.
Isaiah 58 reminds us that when we truly worship God our hearts are transformed, and we become light to those around us. God’s light touches each of us and we become change agents for the Kingdom of God. When we are living in God’s light Isaiah says “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 11The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. 12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in”.
I love verses 11 and 12 of this chapter. This is the vision I want of Memorial UMC, an oasis in Greenfield where all can find spiritual refreshment. I’m sure the Trustees like reading that the “ancient ruins” will be rebuilt” and that we will be a place of rest and refreshments for many generations to come.
I hope you will find time soon to thank our hard-working trustees for the fine work they continually do guaranteeing that Memorial is a safe and comfortable place of worship and fellowship. Recently they have been looking at ways to seal our windows so that cold air does not come into the sanctuary. I recently found John Stoekle vacuuming the heat registers in the sanctuary, making sure that the registers were free of dust and grime that prevents the heat from flowing. While John was doing that, Greg Ettley , Tom Rowe, and Don Reid were sealing windows in the ceramics room.
We want the sanctuary to be comfortable when you worship, and in these cold dark winter months that can be a challenge. I’m told our last We Energy bill was in excess of $3000. It has been suggested at our Finance Committee meeting that we reintroduce the ADOPT A BILL program. The idea behind this is that we make a “second mile giving” (over and above our normal pledge) contribution to assist in paying our Utilities during these cold winter months. The easiest way to participate is to write a separate check to Memorial for Utilities.
The Lenten season starts February 22 on Ash Wednesday. There will be an Ash Wednesday service at noon at Blessed Hope, and a 7:00 PM service at Memorial. Please feel free to attend either service.
This Lent I am providing a Lenten Study on the Lord’s Prayer each Wednesday evening in March at Blessed Hope. We will have a time of Soup and Fellowship starting at 6:00 PM followed by a brief meditation on each line of the Lord’s Prayer.
While this is held at Blessed Hope, the program is for both churches and you are definitely invited. In fact, this might be a way to invite a friend to church in a less intimidating way. It’s always easier to ask someone out for a meal than it is to ask them to church on Sunday morning.
May the light of Jesus Christ shine in you and through you as we journey from Epiphany into Lent.