“In like a lion, out like a lamb.”
That’s the way we used to describe the weather in springtime. It meant that March brought stormy weather and May gave us warm gentle breezes.
Well, you could say just the opposite for the seasons of the church. We begin with Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent where we focus on Jesus as a lamb being led to the slaughter and end with the triumph of Easter morn where Jesus conquers death like a lion!
Our Lenten journey this year begins with a self-directed time of reflection and repentance on March 6 at the chapel. You may come any time between 9 and 10 a.m. and begin your own journey of repentance and faith by having the “ashes of death” placed on your forehead in the form of a cross. There will be a bulletin to guide you through a time of reading and prayer and then when you’re ready for the imposition, I will be at the communion table with the ashes.
This is a reminder for us that we must be willing to die to our old self— to turn around, to change direction, to repent— in order to receive the newness of life in Jesus. We acknowledge that it is through the Cross of Christ that we receive forgiveness of our sins and newness of life (Acts 26:18).
Again this year to help us reflect on the meaning of the Cross, we have the opportunity to hear from five individuals what the Cross means to them during our Lenten Luncheons every Tuesday beginning March 12 from 12 – 1 p.m. at the Assembly Building in Topsail Beach. You can find more info in flyers at church and around town, in this newsletter, and on our website.
Jean Bell and Julia Sherron have done a great job preparing us for Lent this year with our weekly study of Adam Hamilton’s book, 24 Hours that Changed the World. I highly recommend this book. One of the many new perspectives it gave me about the Cross is the possibility that Jesus may have meditated on the Psalms to gain strength during his agonizing death. See especially Psalm 22, which he quotes while dying. This has challenged me to read and meditate on the Psalms more often in my own devotional time. This might be a good activity especially during Lent, don’t you agree?
In like a Lamb, out like a Lion. The Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah.
Rich Pollock is a retired Presbyterian minister. He lives in Topsail Beach with his wife Julia. Both are active affiliates of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel. Rich happily fills in at the pulpit when a guest minister is unavailable for Sunday worship.