Dear CCOV Family and Friends,
Here we are almost at the end of Lent, and I find myself wondering, how is this church season going for you? Did any of you adopt a Lenten discipline this year or adopt Sandi’s “helpful household hint” (and her own 2019 Lenten discipline) of going through closets and donating to charity things no longer used or worn anymore? I challenged myself to find one article of clothing for each of Lent’s forty days but ended doubling that so far. I’ve made three trips to Goodwill and will make one more before Easter. My closets look great and I don’t miss anything!
One of the greatest themes of the Christian life is that we are blessed in order to bless. We are healed in order to heal. We are restored in order to restore. In fact, Jesus’ miracles in the gospels follow this pattern. The multiplication of the fishes and the loaves made sure everyone ate. When Jesus’ healed the bleeding woman, he ended her isolation and she was restored to community. When Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men, they went out and spread the news about him. When we are gifted with abundance, it is for sharing. Some even rise to the highest challenge of giving sacrificially.
Two Sundays ago a woman came by the church during early-morning choir practice. She was in tears and on the way to visit her father, who was suffering from cancer. She needed gas money. I was so heartened to see choir members who had cash in their pockets give to her. One hugged her and comforted her because she too knew what it was like to battle cancer. What joy it is to belong to such a deeply Christian family marked by generosity!
I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and hearing Pastor Dick preach Part III of his sermon series, “Seeking a Better Way to be Christian, from Lost to Found” (Jonah 3:1-2; Matthew 4:18-22). The following week I will be in the pulpit for Palm Sunday. The scripture will be Luke 19:28-40. In the meantime, prayers for the remainder of a meaningful Lent! It’s not too late to clean house and give, whatever that may look like for you.