Pastor Rike’s Message – February 2019

During the month of February the church continues with a series of Sundays after Epiphany for which the color on the altar is green. The character of these days is clearly different from the Christmas season (which they follow) as well as being different from the season of Lent (which they precede). The number of Sundays after the Epiphany is determined by the dates for Ash Wednesday and Easter. This year Easter falls on April 21 – almost the latest date possible for Easter. As a result, Lent does not begin until Ash Wednesday on March 6.

In the church these weeks of February consist mostly of preparation. On Feb. 3 parents of children preparing to make First Communion will meet during the Sunday School time. Also during February there will be conversation with those who intend to become members of our congregation on March 3. The Worship and Music Committee has been preparing for Transfiguration Sunday (March 3) and Lent.

To some degree these preparations echo what we will hear from the biblical readings proclaimed in church. In those readings Jesus calls people to follow him and provides them with initial, basic teaching concerning discipleship. That teaching prepared the disciples for everything that would follow.

Even as we are preparing for what is yet to follow in March with Lent, we should not lose sight of what is already present. Each week our Lord reveals his Presence to us, refreshing our faith with His Body and Blood. Before Lent there is not only preparation but also celebration.

On Transfiguration Sunday we will celebrate. As has been the custom in previous years, we will enjoy Decadent Desserts (more information about that is available elsewhere in this newsletter). March 3 will also see us “bury the Alleluia.” Cards to be used for that purpose will once again be printed and included with the bulletin.

Finally, if you have Palms or Palm Crosses from previous years you are encouraged to bring them back to church during the next few weeks. A receptacle to collect them will be available in the narthex. Those palms will be burned onMarch 3 in order to make the ashes with which we will begin Lent in the 7:30 p.m. service on March 6.

In Christ, Pastor Rike

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