2/17: Lent: Places Where our Lives Become Whole

Posted on : Feb 14th, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Sunday we begin the season of LENT.  Lent is a time for spiritual assessment and reflection, for healing and wholeness.  Traditionally we call that repentance and forgiveness, but I rather like the more contemporary concepts of spiritual assessment and reflection.  Too many of us have been abused by the demand for repentance, and my experience is often that those who tell me to repent are themselves in fact the ones who need to repent.  So let’s move beyond others telling us what we need to do with our spiritual lives to deciding for ourselves what we need to do with our spiritual lives.

This year during Lent we’re going to reflect on “Holy Places” – the “places” in our lives where we encounter, meet, experience the living presence of Christ and the “Places Where our Lives Become (or are made) Whole.”  In each of our life journeys there are “places” where our spirit meets and touches God’s spirit; where we become one.  Sometimes it is in an event, sometimes it is a place, sometimes it is an experience.  This kind of healing experience happened all the time with people who met, heard, touched or were healed by Jesus.  The Gospels are full of such stories.  And so are our lives.

This Lent we are also going to partner with our new UCC neighbor, Westwood Hills UCC.  Rev. Kirsten Linford is the pastor there and Bear Waters is their newly called Associate Pastor.  Kirsten is going to preach at our church two Sundays and I am going to preach two Sundays at Westwood Hills.  Bear is going to preach the fifth Sunday of Lent both here and at Westwood Hills!  I think this will be very exciting.  First of all Kirsten is wonderful.  She and I are already good friends and colleagues and are part of a contemporary worship leaders group that we formed with other creative UCC pastors.  She also just returned home from a spiritual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  Jerusalem of course is full of ancient “Holy Places.”   She is deeply spiritual, insightful and fun!  I know you’ll be blessed by her teaching.  And likewise, I’m looking forward to meeting more of our new UCC neighbors and preaching at Westwood Hills.  All told, you should be triple blessed this Lent with three insightful preachers and teachers.

Here’s an overview of the next five Sundays.  I hope and pray they will both help you to find the “holy places” in your life and bring you peace and wholeness this Lenten season.



Holy Places and Places Where Our Lives Become Whole.

Theme Scripture Synopsis
Feb. 17 – Lent 1 Kirsten Marking Holy Places – To Build or Not to Build a Shrine? Luke 9:28-36 Transfiguration of Jesus
Feb. 24 – Lent 2 Dan Standing on Holy Ground and Not Knowing it. Exodus 3: 1-6 God “speaks” to Moses through the Burning Bush
March 3 – Lent 3 Kirsten Build, Plant, Grow. Jer. 29: 4-7, 11-14; Luke 9: 51-62 Jesus has no place to call “home.”
March 10 – Lent 4 Dan Making the Desecrated Holy:  What do we do with the “Sandy Hook Elementary Schools” in our lives? Isaiah 35; Luke 19:41-48 Jesus weeping over Jerusalem; the Promise of Deliverance
March 17 – 5pm  –   Lent 5 Bear It’s about the People, not Just the Place.” John 4: 1-30 The Woman at the Well


~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Luke 9: 28-36

Peter, John and James witness the transfiguration of Jesus.

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.  And as Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.  And behold, two men talked with Jesus, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of Jesus’ departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.  Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men who stood with him.  And as the two were parting from Jesus, Peter said to him, “Teacher, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said.  As Peter said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.  And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Child, my Chosen; to this one you shall listen!”  And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.  And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

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