Mid-winter is the season of Great Expectations. The cold weather has worn out its welcome, and Easter is drawing closer. The time between Ash Wednesday and Easter is called Lent, an old word for spring that means lengthening, referring to the lengthening of daylight as the sun makes its annual climb. In the church, this is also a season when we focus on the suffering of Jesus and its contribution to our spiritual healing. Anything as serious as the effects of sin: a broken relationship with God and others, needs a serious solution. One might have wished that God could have dealt with this problem with a snap of the fingers and said all is forgiven. But anyone in a serious relationship that has been harmed by betrayal knows that this is easier said than done. Somebody has to do the heavy lifting of honest soul-searching, repentance, confession, and a demonstration of its sincerity. The good news of the Christian faith is that Jesus, which is to say God in the flesh, chose freely and lovingly to do that on our behalf, since we were not capable of such a feat.
The length to which God was willing to go for our redemption (pun intended) should prompt some serious introspection and soul-searching on our part in order to translate our gratitude into action that pleases and honors God for such generosity and mercy. The traditional spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, worship, and kind deeds for others are great tools for gaining a deeper understanding of our own sin and the ways in which we can confess it and resolve to improve our faith and life. I invite you to join me on this journey called Lent, which begins tonight at 7:00 on Zoom with our Ash Wednesday worship, which will include communion, prayers for healing and wholeness, and the imposition of ashes. Please have your own form of bread and juice on hand plus ashes from your fire place or fire pit (or powdered cocoa or ground coffee plus a little water will do.)
February 21st is the first Sunday of Lent, and we will celebrate the sacrament of communion in our recorded worship service online. Theologians call grace without gratitude and faithful living “cheap grace.” The cross was not cheap at all, and neither should our response to God’s gracious, generous, sacrificial gift of new life in Christ. This is why Jesus told those who wanted to follow him to take up their cross and follow. But he also said that this burden would be light, because we have an advocate to help us carry it. I hope to see you tonight and on Sundays along the way of the cross. Thank you for all you do.
The Session has approved a second food drive for the Raleigh Dream Center, whose food pantry is running low. We are grateful for your generous response during our last drive and hope that many of of you will be able to participate in this one. In order to keep everyone safe during COVID, Amy Rhoades and the Mission Team will do the shopping for the canned meat items requested. To support this effort, please send a check to the church marked "Raleigh Dream Center Donation." Thank you in advance for your generous contributions.
Please note that the church is closed for in-person activities through April 30, 2021.
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.