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“Are You Familiar With The Journey We’re Taking?”
There are all kinds of journeys that you and I will take over the course of our lives. Journeys such as the one where we move from birth, through childhood, and into our adult and senior years. There’s a journey we embark upon as we go through the formal as well as informal educational process. Our vacations involve taking journeys. Our chosen vocations provide us with journeys. We might even say our health is a journey, with ups and downs and exits and entrances. Even this past year has provided us an unusual journey as we have learned to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent restrictions placed on our lives.

I so often find myself using the word ‘journey’ when I speak about, and reflect upon, our observance of the Lenten season. We are now almost halfway through this forty-day Church season and, at each worship service, I continue to invite you to join me on our ‘Lenten Journey’ to the cross with Jesus.  Perhaps we know the ins and outs of this journey, but maybe we do not. Of course, we started down this road on Ash Wednesday with the understanding that a part of our travels included the self-discipline associated with Lent.  Prayer, fasting, the giving of alms or sharing of our blessings, are a part of our Lenten self-discipline. And these are all wonderful practices to adopt during the Lenten season, yet there is more to the journey.

In an effort to help us on our Lenten travels, we are providing a brief Monday devotion on our Facebook page, and a Monday through Friday devotion presented by the ecumenical clergy group we participate with during this season. Those devotions are also on our Facebook page.  Perhaps you’ve joined us for these devotions, but if not, I invite you to tune in for a few moments’ reflection on Psalm 22.

But there is even one more thing I would like to encourage you to make a part of this season and journey. The gospel according to St. John is a powerful account of Jesus’ ministry in the world, reconciling humanity to God.  It is especially moving as we enter Jerusalem with Jesus at the Passover and walk those streets during the final week of our Lord’s life.  To truly be prepared to reach the destination of this journey upon which we have embarked, to arrive at the cross with understanding about the role of Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world, we should make the time to read through the chapters of John’s gospel. It’s only 21 chapters, and you could start today and finish before Good Friday. I believe that if you would commit to reading these chapters and verses, the Lenten journey to the cross of Christ will be much more meaningful and relevant to your understanding of our Lord’s sacrifice. I encourage you to give this discipline a try this year.

The truth is that all too often when we are driving from one place to another, we pay little attention to the landmarks and scenery between the two places. Sometimes, this happens to us as we head to Jerusalem and the cross. The reading of John’s gospel could very well provide the landmarks and scenery we need to arrive at Easter with a new and better understanding of exactly what has taken place. I encourage you to give it a try this year and see if it doesn’t help you appreciate God’s gift of His Son. Let’s travel to Lent together, letting John provide the commentary for our trip.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Butler +