The Cold Springer - Week of March 10th, 2019
Sunday, March 10th, 2019 - Morning Prayer
Lent, You Can Do It!
There’s a school of thought that holds up the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the subject of this week’s Gospel passage from Luke, as a sign that he was capable of things that we can only imagine doing. That his will, in the face of the tempter, only points to our lack of will. It is a story that can trick us into believing that we are relegated to a life of coming-up short.
I am not about to dispute that Jesus’ power was (is) beyond our comprehension and ability. But the story of his temptation, which must have come from his own lips, is not about what we can’t do, but what we can do.
In Lent, we seek to reorder, restructure or redo or spiritual lives. We are led by the Spirit, just as Jesus was, to seek our identity in God and to remind ourselves of our purpose. Who are we in relationship to God? How do we grow closer God? What can we do in response to God’s grace? The answers, and the strength to respond to them, are found in Jesus.
In our homes, in the context of family, there are so many options that can contribute to our spiritual growth and that of our children. Grace before meals. Watching bible story cartoons and reading bible stories for young people. Try encouraging older children to review their day before bedtime; giving thanks to God for all of it and asking themselves where - with God’s help - they could do better.
Here's another suggestion.
After reading this week’s lesson, invite your kids to watch the 4-minute video posted below. It's a series of images illustrating Jesus’ temptation. The most striking moment comes towards the end, when the tempter (colored red) appears to test Jesus. Have a conversation about where our temptations come from: the inside or the outside? Maybe some other interesting things will come out of this exercise.
Have a blessed and Holy Lent.
Peace and All Good!
The Rev. Jesse Lebus
"There was once someone who said such amazing things and did such wonderful things that people followed him. As they followed him, they heard him talking about a kingdom, but it was not like the kingdom they lived in. It was not like any kingdom anyone had ever visited. It was not like any kingdom anyone had ever heard of. They couldn’t help it. They had to ask him what the kingdom of heaven was like."
Using the Godly Play method, this is how we begin by telling our students the parables of the kingdom. This week they will explore the Parable of the Leaven. It is short and amazing: [Jesus] told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’ Matthew 13:33.
The parables of the kingdom tell us that it is not what we would expect, that God does amazing things with the small, that God does the unexpected, that God is doing a new thing with both the old and the new.
Elements of Faith
During Lent, the Elements of Faith class will explore the 7 last words of Jesus, using reflection pieces and coloring pages (above) developed by the Illustrated Children's Ministry.
Jesus had a lot to say during his life - about who God is, about what justice looks like, about how we are to love ourselves, and our neighbors, and all the world. And, tradition has it, he kept teaching even in the very last moments of his life. The Seven Last Words are the sayings of Jesus from the cross as recorded in the Gospel narratives. Some of them pull from his ancestors’ prayers and songs, reminding us of his deep rootedness in Jewish tradition. Some of them echo themes he taught throughout his ministry — like connection and compassion — their recurrence here seemingly giving them extra emphasis. Some of them remind us just how very human he was. And many of them are words we might hear from the mouths of people in our world today, innocents who still suffer unjustly.
As our students read and color and discuss, I hope that your experience of Lent is enriched, and your
connection to the One whose words we remember is deepened, through this engagement.
Pancake Party & Burning of the Palms
Tuesday, March 5
6pm - 8pm
Lent is coming so we've got to prepare...let's party! St. John's annual Fat Tuesday party is a festive parish wide event. All are invited. Pancakes, bacon, New Orleans beverages and a King Cake! Brought to you by the Vestry and this year's Confirmation Class. Evening ends with a brief liturgy as we burn the old palms for Ashes on Ash Wednesday.
Kids in Community
Wednesdays in Lent
March 13, 20,27
April 3, 10, and 17
6:30 - 8 pm.
A Lenten retreat for young people (8-11). All of us will eat together, but when the "Life in Community" program begins in Bleecker Hall the young people will go to the church to play games and create crafts, focusing on bible passages that touch on life in Christian community. A great opportunity for kids and parents.
March 6, 2019
12 noon & 7:30 pm
At 12 noon: Holy Eucharist Rite 2 with Imposition of Ashes.
At 7:30 pm: Ash Wednesday Liturgy with Imposition of Ashes.