“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
This month, just as Valentine’s Day arrives, we will also be beginning our season of Lent. Lent marks the forty days prior to Easter. It is a time when we focus again on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we see God’s amazing and abundant grace for humanity. Our worship series for Lent is titled, “Grace Abundant”. We will begin with a central teaching of Jesus on love and then look at a few of the many stories from the gospel of Luke that illustrate Jesus living out his teaching on love. During Holy Week our focus will turn to Jesus laying down his life for his disciples, his friends, for us, for humanity. No one has greater love than this. On Easter Sunday we will celebrate the abundant grace of God revealed in the Resurrection! As I consider anew these stories of Jesus, stories of God’s love, stories of abundant grace, I exclaim with the hymn writers, “What wondrous love is this, o my soul” and “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” (from “What Wondrous Love Is This”, UMH#292; and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, UMH#298). From Ash Wednesday on throughout Lent, we will be invited to marvel in God’s abundant love for us and to walk with God in abundantly loving one another.
As Valentine’s Day draws near, remember your sweethearts and loved ones! As Lent draws near, remember our God and all God’s people – remember, live and celebrate “Grace Abundant”!
Grace and peace, Pastor Sherry
P.S. I want to thank all the Grace Church family for your most loving support of me throughout my extended and ongoing time of recovery from my December 27 auto accident. I have experienced an overwhelming sense of love and support through your cards, notes, calls, food, rides, and general well wishes. Thank you. Thank you. I continue to heal – gaining mobility, strength and energy each day. I still must pace myself some, but hope to be back to full speed soon.