We are marching so quickly through the liturgical church year. It seems like we
were just in Advent and then Christmas. We are already in the time after Epiphany
and oh yes, it will soon be Lent! But why am I speaking of Lent when that is a ways
off? It’s even a bit on the late side this year. Perhaps, by the time you read the
March newsletter, Lent will have already begun with Ash Wednesday, March 1.
Imagine if you can:
It’s an ordinary weekday, and in the middle of your daily tasks, when you
stumble into a moment of prayer. The street corner, the coffee shop, or some
other ordinary place is suddenly a place where God has come to meet you.
The church has come out from behind the comfortable pews and doors to be in
the places where the rubber meets the road. It’s Ash Wednesday, and you’re
invited to wear your ashes, to claim repentance, grace and deep relationship
with God for the challenges of your daily life. (http://ashestogo.org/)
Last year and again this year, I will be distributing ashes in the places people are
at, as well as at St. Timothy and St. Mark. This is called Ashes to Go. I will begin
early Ash Wednesday morning at the Bemus Point Inn until around 10 a. m. Then, I
will go to Coach’s Chatterbox and do likewise. There were some very positive
responses last year. In Mayville, I hope to be at one of the restaurants in town for
Ashes to Go.
That’s what I’ll be doing as an opportunity to take the church to the people that
cannot or will not come to church. Some have been very hurt by the church and no
longer attend anywhere.
In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ final words to his followers are, “Go therefore and
make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). It is important to go. The disciples
were not to just hang out in Jerusalem or Galilee but were to go where people
Think about ways we can “go” more as individuals and as a congregation. Many of
you already are doing that, so maybe you can help the rest of us. I would love to
hear your ideas.
I love the way the call God has for us is expressed in the first verse of “Will You
Come and Follow Me?”, #798 in the Evangelical Lutheran Worship:
Will you come and follow me, if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, and will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in my?
Look up the rest of the verses. They are all powerful and challenging. Let us reach
out beyond our walls.
In Christ’s service,