A Message from Ed
February 17, 2021
Dear Forest Lake family,
Does 2021 feel like 2020 has gone into overtime? Do you need a prayer? Let’s start with this prayer adapted from Mark’s gospel:
Holy God, by the grace of Jesus Christ you know the tests and trials we face.
Walk with us through this wilderness.
Come to us with ministers of healing and visit us with messengers of hope, so that we may return to you in faith, believing the good news of the gospel; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
The season of Lent is a time of preparation in anticipation for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. How will you prepare? Mark’s gospel reminds us that Jesus entered the wilderness “immediately” after his baptism, so perhaps we can draw some sense of comfort that Jesus himself was tempted and surrounded by “beasts” in his own wilderness.
Perhaps, also, we can find comfort and a challenge through Jesus’ baptism and wilderness journey. Through his baptism, Jesus is claiming his identity. For most of his life, he stayed in Nazareth, but after John the Baptist’s emergence, the sign had come. It was time to bring people back to God and bring good news to those on the outside.
It is so hard and challenging right now to keep our hearts open and our attention on others. COVID, job loss, financial insecurity, homeschooling have all been challenges felt in our own wilderness, temptations to bring the focus back to ourselves. Lent provides us a chance to rethink, to claim the vows made in baptism, embrace being a child of God, and serve others.
The traditional approach to Lent has been to “give up” something, and while this symbolic act is a helpful approach to keep us mindful of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can also just “give.”
We have a lot of opportunities for service, small group studies, worship, and fellowship over the next several weeks. Your church family cannot wait to “see” you either virtually or over at 6500 N. Trenholm.
See you soon,