A message from our pastor, Rev. Jonathan Recabarren:
As we begin the Lenten season and journey our way to the cross, I ask God to grant you the strength, patience, understanding, comfort, and love to deliver you from any temptation you may encounter. Recently, I met with a parishioner and had the opportunity to visit with them in their home. They have been through a lot these past couple of months battling health issues, being displaced from their home and bored, in general, with life. At times wishing their life would end.
The journey of life is quite difficult to walk, wouldn’t you agree?
As we have watched in the news the war upon the Ukrainian country by Russia has been quite difficult to watch as families attempt escaping bombs exploding behind them destroying their homes. As I have watched distraught families trod to safe locations, I can only think of the wilderness they are encountering. I can only imagine how frightened they may be, lost they may feel, and alone they may be at this time as the journey in the wilderness becomes more difficult each day.
The season of Lent is one that challenges us all as people of God. As we attempt to draw closer and closer to God, temptations around us, encounters we may have, evil that ensues in and around us attempts to draw us further and further away from God. Just like the parishioner, the people in Ukraine and Russia may think, “Why believe in God and why continue journeying in life when we see nothing good in the future?”
My brothers and sisters in Christ, as Jesus journeys to the cross during these forty days he is challenged just as we are, yet he remains persistent on his mission to sacrifice himself for you. To encourage you, uplift you, inspire you, welcome you, and love you more than life itself. Jesus in the midst of despair, evil, and uncertainty will provide you with all the hope needed as you stay focused on the cross and step over and around the temptations we face in life.
As I met with the parishioner, I noticed how uplifted they were not only in the progress they are making but in the will and drive to continue walking the path God has made for them by the power of the Holy Spirit. People of God, as we walk our own journey the challenges we face are not faced alone but accompanied by God by the power of the Holy Spirit. That word “Power” means so much at this time for the people of Ukraine and Russia yet the only one with “Power” is God. The one who walks with us talks to us and claims us as God’s own as we are led to safe horizons.
Let us walk this Lenten journey confident in the power of God as we make our way to the cross, with Jesus witnessing the power of God as we share with the world how Jesus the Son of God will conquer death from the grave for you and for me.
A blessed Lenten journey to us all as we give alms and pray for one another known and unknown. Also, as we fast keep focused and seek the hunger for Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life as we journey to the cross where Jesus has promised you life eternal in his name.