The Salem Tidings

From the Pastor’s Desk

 
 
 

 Note from Pastor Paola:

Between Ash Wednesday and Easter

About a week ago during Ash Wednesday service, we were reminded through the symbol of the ashes of our mortality, our weakness, and our failures. We were invited to confess and give it all into God’s hands. At Lent we enter into a time in which we are called to reflection and transformation, letting go of what keeps us from being the person God created us to be.
 
During this month in worship, devotion and Bible study, we are called to walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem, knowing the cross is waiting there. 
 
It feels in many ways we have been going through an extended Lent, a yearlong Lent. It has been a long dark year, a very long preparation to the joy of Easter.
 
Yet, blessings have managed to find their way to us…
     • We have been walking together, praying hard for each other like never before, because forced distancing makes us starved for love and connection
     • We have been experiencing the greatest and most outrageous generosity ever seen for local and international mission and outreach, as during the pandemic “our heart grew three sizes”
     • We have been kicking off an incredible building renovation made possible because we couldn’t use the building
     • We have been learning an incredible quantity of new skills that helped us to reach out to many new people, because we had no choice but do so
 
It is like living between Ash Wednesday and Easter: seeing sparkles of joy and light in the midst of despair and darkness. This is an awe-inspiring gift of God. His hand has been incredibly powerful over us during this past year.
 
This Easter, April 4, we are going to celebrate joy and new beginning. Our building will be ready (or close to being ready), many of us are in the process of being vaccinated, and our community is healing.  No one knows how long it will still take, but EASTER JOY is coming and we can begin getting ready for it.
 
We can see in front of us the doors of our church and our hearts opening to welcome each other and welcome those who are not here yet.
 
I am ready. Are you?
 
Blessings,
 
Pastor Paola