A message from the pastor

The time is fulfilled and the realm of God has come near…

Mark 1, from the first Sunday of Lent

Friends in Christ,

We didn’t make it through Lent together last year, and we were separated for Easter. We are physically distanced still (for good reason). Last year we began Lent as usual, on Ash Wednesday but then whatever practices we’d pledged changed, along with so many things in our church.

Change can be good. And sometimes it’s unavoidable. But it is best when it is chosen. So, what would you choose to change this year for Lent?

This is the tradition: Give up something for Lent. Take on something for Lent.  

These are great but I know there is a third way.

Historically Lent has been a time for reflection, preparation, and action.  For many decades it became a season of private reflection. But for centuries before that it was a time of public practices—that is, action in the public square.

Even while we’re physically distanced is there something public we can do this Lent? What? How?

The quote from Mark above is from Jesus, and it’s just about his first public expression. God has come near. If this is true (and I believe it is), how do we bring God’s presence beyond our safe home sanctuaries between February 17 and April 4? How do we keep it there beyond April 4?

If you have a heart for mission I invite you to contact me about providing a free, public refrigerator in Nonantum starting in March—it’s on the street and safe to stock without a crowd.

If you have a longing for conversation about being an anti-racist I invite you to reach out for a study/conversation/action we are planning as a group from NHCC.

If you could help with our senior housing effort these next months—we will need supporters to do some community work—be in touch.

If you know about social media we have a great light at NHCC, and it could be a little less under that proverbial bushel. Email us!

Those are just some of our undertakings. And I am sure that there is someone hungry, someone excluded, someone wishing to stay at home nearby, or someone interested in progressive Christianity who would find God a little more near as we work on all this because of our faith.

So I am sure that if we go through Lent together, even from different rooms, we can affirm Jesus’ public promise that the realm of God has come near.

I am so thankful to be here with you this season. Together we will make it to the next one, too, in private and public, in Christ’s name.


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