Pastor Phil Wold
email@example.com cell - 307-763-1115
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes
with sighs too deep for words.
A few notes:
1. Wednesday night worship is very nice - we are able to sit in the shade outside the fellowship hall. We have been able to worship on Sunday and Wednesday with good “social distancing.” If you feel that you can go out, we feel we have provided a fairly safe way to be together.
2. We are working to put together a July newsletter. I am planning to send it to you as a pdf. That way, we don’t have to gather people together to fold and mail… We will mail it to those who do not have internet.
Considering the seasons of the Church year in this Covid-tide, we come to Lent. This season of repentance can be a great gift, as we return to God, our creator and redeemer.
In the “Invitation to Lent” in the Ash Wednesday service, we hear this: “we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and of neighbor.”
The disciplines of Lent are named as “self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love…”
All of these are gifts given by God.
Sometimes it is possible to miss the fact that repentance is not a work by us, but a work of the Spirit.
I like this reflection by Martin Smith, an Episcopal priest, who offers up “letting go” as a balance to “discipline.” (Well, he comes pretty close to denying the value of discipline, but that’s how I interpret it. Ha!)
Dwelling on this thought of letting go, and handing myself over to the Spirit will bring me much closer to the experience of Jesus than the word “discipline” that so many of us have been trained to invoke at the beginning of Lent.
It should help us smile at our anxious attempts to bring our life under control, the belt tightening resolutions about giving up this or taking on that.
What we are called to give up in Lent is control itself.
Deliberate efforts to impose discipline on our lives often serve only to lead us further away from the freedom that Jesus attained through surrender to the Spirit, and promised to give.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).”–Martin L. Smith, A Season for the Spirit, 2004
“let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe forever.”
As a people who mark time in seasons, we have many resources to face this “Covide-tide.” Epiphany follows Christmas as a season to note that God has sent Jesus to bring God’s love and life to all the world.
I find it a powerful insight that while philosophers might speculate about God’s attributes - all powerful, all knowing and more - the God of the Bible is one who comes into our midst in order to enter into a relationship of faith and trust with you.
The prayer I have included today addresses God as “unchanging.” What is it that never changes about God? It is that God loves you, pursues you, takes hold of you, and enlists you in God’s work of redeeming the world.
Psalm 100 says “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
It is God’s love that is eternal…
In this “season”, let us take note of the presence of God in our midst.
This is a prayer for the day of Epiphany; January 6th.
Prayer on Epiphany
Father of Light,
today you reveal to people of faith
the resplendent fact of the Word made flesh.
Your light is strong,
your love is near;
draw us beyond the limits which this world imposes,
to the life where your Spirit makes all life complete.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
AmenVatican II Sunday Missal: Millennium Edition, 2001
The TRINITY CONNECTIONS reflections from previous months are on the Connections March, April, May, June pages