This space has its roots in the history of how this congregation came to be - a group of Jesus followers inviting others to come and see Christ and live that faith out together. Once a month, we will bring forth a devotional from years gone by. Today we re-member (put together again in our minds) from thirty-five years ago in the Lenten Devotional of 1983 - Sunday, March 6th to be precise though this one was written in January of 1982.
As I am writing on this January Sunday it is minus 15 degrees with a wind-chill of minus 60 degrees. I have just returned from the gathering of the hardy few at church, where I was asked to prepare a thought for the Lenten booklet. Lent -- so far removed from this January day. I volunteered to write this because I want to reach out to you. I wanted to write something that would have meaning to both you and me. What can that message be? Dominating my thoughts now is the bad weather -- Did anyone get stranded coming to or going home from church? Will the canned food in the garage cupboard freeze? Will it warm up enough to get out the cross-country skis? My feet are cold. Lent is so far away.
What you and I are doing right now, however, may be the message. It relates to Lent and Easter. I am writing --now. You are reading what I have written --now. Gaps in time and space have been bridged! Let's reflect upon what we are doing.
I write these thoughts which are alive in me. Between the time and space of my writing and your reading, these thoughts are only print on paper. But the length of time and distance between us is of no importance. You may be beside me as I write. You may be in another part of the world many years removed. It does not matter. Now, as you read, a little part of me comes alive for you. These no longer are just words printed on paper. These are personal thoughts of mine that you are receiving. A small part of my spirit lies buried on these pages until this moment. Now this small part of my spirit does not die; it comes aclive for you as you read. Now it lives on. I believe we are participating in the Easter story.
So here I am on this cold January day, thinking of you. I hope you are in a warm place with the sun shining on your head --thinking of me.
"For even though I am absent in body; yet I am with you in spirit, and I am glad as I see the resolute firmness with which you stand together in your faith in Christ. Since you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, live in union with him. Keep your roots deep in him, build your lives on him, and become ever stronger in your faith as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving."