Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen 2-14-24

February 14, 2024

Dear Friends,

The church staff have been hard at work to prepare for a celebration of Lent and Easter to help us reconnect with God and grow in our faith. We chose a theme, suggested by a Lenten hymn (#314), Christ, Be Our Light. The hymn recognizes that we are longing for light, peace, food, shelter, and many other things. There is a lot of darkness in our world. We need light!

The Christian faith believes that Christ is the Light of the World! So, the hymn refrain invites us to pray by singing: Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.

But we all know that there are many paths, people, and priorities that claim to be THE LIGHT that will save us. It is easy to be confuse a light with God’s light and become disoriented, like a moth circling a streetlight. To keep from being pulled off course and being confused, we need to know what Christ did, taught, and commanded. So, this Lenten season, Ed and I will be focusing our worship on themes taken from Jesus’ primary sermon – The Sermon on the Mount – as Matthew’s Gospel records it in Chapters 5-7. Each Sunday, there will be a memory verse that we hope you will memorize during the week to reinforce the teachings of Jesus in your own heart. The children will be working on these verses in their faith formation, and I hope the adults will do the same.

How can we recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd if we do not know what he taught? How can we recognize The Light, if we do not know what the true Light looks like? I invite you to spend time reading the Sermon on the Mount this Lenten Season. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent. And this season of self-evaluation and reflection continues throughout Holy Week, culminating in our worship on Easter Sunday. Easter is the primary Christian celebration each year – not Christmas. Come worship and prepare with your Church family as we long for the light of Christ to be clearer in our hearts and lives and clearer in the world.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 6:14-15 – “If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”

We will see you in worship! Holy Lent!

Ellen Fowler Skidmore

P.S. If you have not already participated in a Worship Listening Session, there are two congregational ones, open to anyone who has not already participated. This Sunday – February 18th – come to the Fellowship Hall after worship. We will be finished by noon or shortly thereafter. The next congregational listening group will be held on Sunday, March 17th. Please mark your calendar now.

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