“Then Jesus began to teach them that the Mortal One (Son of Man) must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31
Greetings, Fremont Family:
Our beautiful season of Lent has begun. Together, we are on a journey, and we are going with Jesus to Jerusalem. Our theme for this Lenten season is, “Again & Again” and the symbol of the ampersand will be our guide. If you weren’t able to attend worship this past Sunday, then allow me to explain. The symbol of the ampersand has ancient origins. It was discovered in graffiti in the city of Pompeii, a city that was destroyed by volcanic ash and a city whose story lives on. This double truth prompted the creators at Sanctified Art to consider the ampersand as a sign of God’s holy ‘and.’ That is, when we are tempted to reduce our reality to “either/or” thinking, God is often holding our lives open. Multiple things can be true ‘and’ there is more always more to see and learn.
This Sunday, 2/28, at 3pm, you are invited to join us as we together we make a Lenten Prayer Wall (pictured above) to be installed outside on the patio near the Sanctuary entrance. On Sunday, we will share prayers and write them on strips of material, and then we will weave our prayers into God’s holy ‘and’ trusting that God both hears the prayers of our hearts, and God responds. We will offer prayers of thanksgiving and lament, prayers of gratitude and need.
When I was meditating on the scripture for this coming Sunday, I could not help but notice the numerous times that the word ‘and’ appears. Mark 8 :31-38 is a “hinge” passage in Mark’s Gospel. It’s the first time, but definitely not the last time, that Jesus explains to the disciples what will take place. Jesus creates a refrain. He will suffer and be rejected and be killed and be raised on the third day. The disciples don’t want to hear any of it. To them (and us), Jesus is the Messiah. Therefore, there can be no suffering, no rejection, no death. Messiah’s have all the power and glory! What Jesus teaches the disciples (and us) is that as Messiah will not use his power and authority to avoid human hardship. And suffering and death does not have the last word. Even in death, there is more.
My prayer is that in this season of Lent, together, we will live into the beauty and hope of God’s holy ‘and.’ Together, may we trust that our hardship, our sorrow, our pain, even our joy is yet being redeemed. Easter is coming.
Grace and peace, Pastor Erin