For the Beauty
Post date: Feb 25, 2022 4:31:5 PM
Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,
Epiphany blessings to you!
This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday, the last Sunday after Epiphany before we enter the season of Lent. Last year at this time we were still worshiping online before we returned to in person worship on Easter Sunday. Holding that memory in my heart, I desire to make this Lent one of meaningful and holy beauty for you all. After twenty-three months of a pandemic, and now the terrible war in Ukraine*, don’t we all need more of God’s beauty? And what can be more beautiful than life conquering death in the resurrection? As such, I purchased a Lenten study for us called Vincent Van Gogh and the Beauty of Lent produced by the SALT Project. (If you are not on the church email list and would like a copy of the study, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). The study begins with Ash Wednesday and takes us all the way through to Easter Sunday. In it you will discover Scripture readings for the week, links to paintings by Van Gogh with their historical background, a meditation on the Scripture and the paintings, and then practices for the week. My hope and prayer is that by walking this path of beauty together we will take some much needed time and space to see the holy that is always already around us, even amid the pain and suffering of the world.
I look forward to being with you in person or on FaceBook live this Transfiguration Sunday at 10:30 AM. The Handbell Choir will open us in worship with the Prelude; the New Jericho Choir will be singing and ringing “Kum Ba Yah”; and the Men’s Quartet will be singing “Christ, We Climb with You the Mountain” for the Anthem. I will be preaching from Exodus 34.29-35, 2 Corinthians 3.12-4.2, and Luke 9.28-36 and my sermon title is Ssshh . . . Listen.
The invitation then for our upcoming Lenten journey is simple: It is time to be still and listen to what God has been trying to say to you for so long now. It is time to recharge and to clean out the spiritual clutter. Let go of the chaos of the past two years. It’s time to be with God in the beauty — however and wherever God calls you to it.
In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,
* I am researching how we can help the people of Ukraine through our denominational partners. I will let you know what I find out very soon.