Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD.
The text above is from Jeremiah 17:7, the Old Testament reading at the start of Pre-Lent. The next verse goes onto say about the one who hopes and trusts in the Lord: They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit. As you will read herein, the Pre-Lenten season of Septuagesima is one of preparation. So the question, Preparation for what?
We could say that Pre-Lent is preparation for a better 40 day Lenten journey. That we might make time and schedule our fasting, prayer, giving – that is certainly true. We could mark the time off on the calendar as days until Easter: 70, 60, 50 – that is true as well. Notice how both of these thoughts on preparation are time-constrained. I must set time to do these timely things according to the time on the calendar. However it might be better if we did not consider our preparation or even our lives as time constrained, as limited. We have, through our baptism, been added to the great cloud of witnesses – disciples of Christ – who already reside in His eternal Kingdom. We are no longer time-bound. Rather we are freed to be as Jeremiah states. Then, let us prepare to be fully engaged as a people who trust in the Lord – having a real and active faith that Jesus does as He promised to do. We are to have full-time hope in Him – and that trust and hope leads to a courage when speaking about Jesus to others. If we focus on trust and hope and who we are in the Kingdom we turn out (bloom) like that tree. We are planted in Christ Jesus Who nourishes us. We do not fear the negatives, the “heat,” for Jesus has us safely in His care. We remain alive in Him, so prepare to bear fruit full-time by timeless lives that draw others unto Jesus.
Welcome to our February 2022 Newsletter. It is packed full of info on the season of Pre-Lent / Septuagesima, the two-and-a-half week time of preparation for the Great Lent (which starts late this particular year). We have provided materials linked herein for your study. We are holding our annual meetings this and next month, part of our ecclesial democratic tradition. The Valentine’s Raffle is here, SouperBowl Sunday, and Epiphany house blessings continue – schedule your time soon. March 6th is Scout Sunday and Scouts coming to church in uniform can get their Scout Sunday patch for 2022.
Also, read up on things to say in church, the meaning of “Lord have mercy,” College Stipends and Scholarships, free healthcare opportunities, and the BASKET SOCIAL is back. All this and more in our February 2022 Newsletter.