The Practice of Letting Go and Letting God

This year our “journey to the cross”—the 40 days of Lent—will highlight the theme of “forgiveness.” Ash Wednesday is March 6, and for the following 5 Wednesday evenings after supper, our worship service will include short video clips from the PBS series The Power of Forgiveness. I can’t think of a better way to prepare for the free gift of eternal life at Easter than becoming better at the practice of forgiveness.

What is “forgiveness?” The word “aphesis” is the most common word used in the New Testament. It means "sending off,” as in "canceling, doing away with". Forgiveness is, literally, “letting go” of our anger, hurt, pain, self-doubt, right to retaliate.—of whatever enslaves and keeps us from the freedom God created us to enjoy.

This Lenten season is particularly meaningful to me as I expect it to be my very last as a parish pastor. I feel need to begin letting go of my identity as “the Pastor” and making the transition to life as a lay person again. Katherine and I are already focused on where we will become church members, and the ministries to which we will offer our “time, talents, and treasures.” Though I feel minimally-qualified for it, I would like to work with
“Youth and Family Ministry.” To me, this is the single most critical ministry to ensure a vital church for the future. There are too few healthy Christian male role models for many of our young people and I’d like to do my small part to change that.

These words of St. Paul help greatly as I look forward to our new life in the Church: I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. –Philippians 3:14 (New Living Translation.)

Join us on Wednesdays for supper and worship, as well as on Sundays for “little Easters” (Martin Luther). May the peace and joy of being a member of Christ’s family be yours in abundance.

+ Pastor Rick