How can Elaine and I ever thank you enough for your kind, thoughtful, loving support during her kidney transplant surgery? Your prayers, cards, e-mails, and texts have humbled us, reminding us of how important the church, the Body of Christ, is during times of stress and challenge. We are extremely grateful to God, the fine medical staff at Duke, the generous person who felt led, perhaps years ago, to become an organ donor at the end of life on earth, and to you for caring so much. I am grateful to my good friend and colleague, David Wiseman, for stepping in to lead worship and preach, so I could be with Elaine as she recovered, and to Virginia for keeping the ship on a steady course.
I will return to the pulpit on Sunday, via my study at home, since Elaine, Katie, and I will be in a 30-day bubble at home to protect Elaine from infection, since her immune system is severely compromised to help protect the new kidney from being rejected by her body. This means that the three of us will be confined to our house for that period. Elaine has recovered well from the surgery but has had to remain in the hospital longer than expected for tests and treatment. We are looking forward to going home soon!
As we continue to travel the road to Jerusalem called Lent, I will be preaching on God’s promise of the New Covenant in Jeremiah, which turned out to be Jesus. The old covenant God made with Israel was a set of laws that provided order and revealed God’s will, but it was provisional and preparatory for the ultimate covenant, one based on God’s mercy and grace in Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus taught that all of God’s laws could be summed up in one sentence: love your neighbor as yourself. But creating this New Covenant was no casual process; it required the cross. This is why Jesus in John’s gospel told his disciples that unless a grain of wheat falls into the soil and dies it will not bear fruit. The seed must die in order for the fruit to be produced. This is a profound image of the cross and why Jesus said that he must die in order that the world might live.
But the miracle of God’s love is that Jesus did not remain dead; on the third day God raised him from the grave. When we are baptized we believe that we spiritually die to the power of sin and death over us and are raised with Christ to a whole new life, one of love, mercy, and compassion. This is what we celebrate on Easter: the death and resurrection of Jesus: God’s triumph over the power of sin and death, a still more excellent way – the way of love. So, as we round the last corner before Holy Week, let us continue the journey to Jerusalem, a journey that leads to faith, hope, and love. Thanks be to God for this inexpressible gift! I hope to “see” you online on Sunday. Thank you again for your prayers and support.
We are so grateful for the generous contributions to help the Raleigh Dream Center. Thanks to you, we collected $765.00, which turned into hundreds of canned items of meat, beans and packages of diapers and wipes - wow! And add to that a donation of $78 to their food pantry. The center operates a mobile food pantry and a food warehouse, which provides nearly 40,000 pounds of food a week to local communities.
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Planning mode for 2022 church envelopes: To save money, we order our church giving envelopes by March 31, 2021 for 2022. This year, we plan to order out of numerical sequence, not ordering boxes for people who don't use them. If you would like giving envelopes for 2022, would you email Virginia by March 29thand let her know?
Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.