Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
This morning I saw the strangest thing outside my window. There in my backyard, which has been blanketed in a wintry coat of snow, was this fuzzy spot of green and brown! Grass peeking through is undeniable evidence that the little groundhog might be right – spring is on the way.
As Christians we are a ‘spring is on the way’ kind of people. After all, at the heart of our faith is the sure and certain hope that new life is not only possible – it is the generous gift of a gracious God. God constantly gifts new life. God gifts resurrection. God gifts forgiveness. God gifts wholeness.
That is the message of Easter. No matter how deep the snow. No matter how long (or short) the winter. No matter how helpless things might seem. No matter how dead Christ was upon the cross. God gives life.
What a joy it has been to see evidence of God’s gift of new life at St. James recently!
From the welcoming of new families as members to inspiring music during worship; from the overwhelming response to our re-pledge effort to fifth graders handcrafting their chalices for first communion; from the start of a Befrienders ministry to the effort of restructuring the St. James Child Care Center; from council and mission stewards working together on a retreat developing initiatives that invite greater worship participation to the congregation trusting leadership at an Annual Meeting... in these an other ways there have been signs of new life, healing, and hope. The Spirit is indeed moving at St. James and opening new possibilities.
Now, I know that March is coming and that we probably haven't seen the last of white percipitation. Like healing and life itself, spring is a process; of births and deaths. Though snow might fall and cover the grass once more, we are heading in the right direction and for that I want to raise a word of thanks. Thanks be to the God who works in imperfect and less than complete processes to bring about new life. Thanks be to the God who works with us - strengthening and forgiving us each step of the way. Thanks be to the God who raises the dead! And thanks to you for sharing in a community that proclaims resurrection.
I hope to see you this Sunday as we gather to worship our 'spring is on the way' God - Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. The Table is set and a place is waiting for you!
The Rev. Walt Lichtenberger, S.T.M. - Pastor
St. James Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN
Office: (952) 890-4534 ext. 112
Emergency Pastoral Care hotline: (651) 354-1883
Cell phone: (952) 836-8588