As I think about the times in which we’re living, one of Martin Luther’s famous quotes, and one of my frequently shared favorites, comes to mind:
This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road.
Like you, I wish that we were at the end of the pandemic, that our social and political tensions were resolved, and that we were all back at St. Andrew enjoying the Lord together, welcoming new friends, singing out, and then listening to the loud chatter coming from a crowded Commons on a Sunday morning. But this is not the end. It is the road. In Luther’s words, “the process is not yet finished, but it is going on.” Implicit in the sentiments of a brilliant and deeply flawed champion of God’s grace, was Luther’s awareness that in the rough and tumble journey of life, God is with us. He is teaching us things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear. And like the children of Israel finally made it to the land of promise after years in the desert, often questioning and complaining, we keep going forward, not being, but becoming what God wants us to be, trusting in Him all the way to the promised land by way of the cross and an empty tomb.
Lent is coming. It begins on February 17. Lent, too, is a journey. And it is a time, not to rest, but to exercise our faith. Curiously, I’m not exactly sure how Lent will go at St. Andrew this year given the changing circumstances in which we find ourselves. But I know that it will come and it will lead us to Easter. I also know that the people of St. Andrew are living illustrations of Luther’s famous words, as you keep moving our ministry forward in so many ways, some of which you can
read about in this newsletter.
Pastor Nick and I give thanks that the Spirit has sent us to St. Andrew to make that journey with you, even in these desert-like days. We wish you a blessed Lent as we exercise our faith and travel its road together to once again find our
rest in Jesus.
The Lord be with you+
Love, in Christ,