Dear Members and Friends,
This month, Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday occur on the same day. The expression of love for each other coincides with the reminder of the brevity of our lives. These two thoughts belong together and inform each other. Our benediction states that “life is short” and also “be swift to love”. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent. A time to enter a spiritual discipline. This could mean fasting and prayer; the letting go of our grievances and resentments; involving oneself in a new service or outreach; reconciling with someone from whom we are estranged; forgiving someone who has caused us pain. Whatever discipline we enter, it will take time and effort – one of the reasons that Lent lasts six weeks. But what a glorious Easter at the end of it! Entering a spiritual discipline benefits those around us. The Presbyterian Church in Canada produced a Statement of Faith in which we find these words: Many find it hard to believe in a loving God in a world where so many suffer. Unbelief threatens many with despair, the feeling that nothing really matters and that beyond this world is emptiness. Faithful men and women of the Bible also knew pain and uncertainty. Yet they experienced God and felt compelled to speak of God moving powerfully in life. Christian faith is a response to the searching presence of God. Christian belief brings new meaning into one’s life, for life’s true purpose is to glorify and to enjoy God.
Overwhelming Grace Be With You,
Reverend David R. Harkness, Minister