Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Children of the One, Heavenly Father,
God's blessings on you and your family and on your homes in this New Year!
Lent begins on February 14 with Ash Wednesday services. This year, as always, Lent provides us with an opportunity for reflection, prayer, and preparation. Let's get ready for a good new year. Let's get ready for what lies ahead. The future just does not happen to us, we can have a part in building it. And God calls us to do good and to do it well.
The three congregations of Siloa, Salem and Braham and the three pastors will be using a little book by Michael Frost to guide our thinking and our discussions in Lent. The title of his book is: “Surprise the World: The Five Habits of Highly Missional People”
The author advises us to "surprise" the world with our lives and our love and our words and actions, and, if we do this, the world, people, will ask us why we are they way we are. Frost points to these words from the New Testament:
1 Peter 3: 15-16 "but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an account of the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence."
On our Lenten journey together, and traveling this road this year with the folks at Braham and Salem, we want to talk about how we can share our faith, explain the hope that is in us, and invite others to join us in this walk of faith.
Frost encourages us to live "questionable lives". He means that we should be intentional about living according to the teachings and guidance of Jesus Christ, in such a way that it is noticeable to others, gets their attention, and causes them to ask questions about our church, or faith, and the "hope" that is in us.
This is definitely about living and loving in a way that lets the light shine and does not hide it under a bushel, or under anything else! We can be too quiet, too polite, too behind the scenes, sometimes.
So, read the book. Come to our discussion opportunities. Pray about how our congregation and how Salem and Braham can better share the good news of God's love for all of God's children.
What are the many ways that we could do that? A very good question!
Peace, Interim Pastor Dan Olson