Pastor’s Reflections

As Karen and I and our three feline fur babies made the journey south, we had many encounters. We encountered our moving team, who carefully wrapped each piece of furniture before loading it to the truck. Our anxious cat, Dewey, had an encounter with his kennel, and scraped skin off his nose in his attempt to escape. We encountered a neighbor and her ninety-pound puppy, who enthusiastically welcomed us to the neighborhood. We have encountered city workers, county workers, and even auto care professionals, who have helped us navigate becoming “official St. Louisians.” We encountered Christ Lutheran members, who welcomed and cared for us by bringing us meals so we have not had to cook yet, helped us acclimate to our new city, taught me about Christ Lutheran, and inspired me as we prepared for Lent! And along the way, we have witnessed God at work in the world around us, in the joy, openness, passion, and patience that has been extended to us!
This Lent, as we begin our ministry together, we are going to explore the theme of Encountering God in the World. We will see Jesus, God with skin, having an encounter in the desert that helped him understand who he was called to be in the world. We listen to his conversations with Nicodemus, and the woman at the well, inviting them into relationship with God. We witness the blind man, healed and challenged, as he claims Jesus is God. And we will reflect on our own encounters with God.
And ultimately, we will walk with Jesus as he faces arrest, torture, and even death because of his commitment to embody the unconditional love of God in a world of brokenness and sin. Jesus does not shy away from any part of the human experience—he shows us that no matter what we go through, God understands. You might say that, in Jesus, God has some skin in the game! And Jesus shows us how to be our best selves, calling us to recognize where we have sinned, and grow in our capacity to embody God’s love and mercy. In the end, we will stand with Mary at the tomb, as she encounters Jesus, alive again, and hears him call her name.
Where have you encountered God in the world? Where have you seen healing? Where have you experienced reconciliation? Where have you been fed and nourished when you were most hungry? Where have you witnessed life in the midst of what seemed to be only death? Where do you most need healing, forgiveness, nourishment, and new life, today?
We begin our ministry together with the Lenten journey, and we can expect God to do a new thing. In the coming weeks, I hope to hear many stories, learn many things, and begin to explore where God is leading the Christ Lutheran family as we journey forward, together. I can’t wait to get to know all of you, and see the Spirit at work among us! Open our eyes and hearts and prepare us to Encounter God in the World.
Pastor Meagan