#CPC Wednesday Message 2-17-21

Posted by Pastor Steve Melde on

Wednesday Message 2-17-21

Ash Wednesday Greetings,

This is not what I had planned for Ash Wednesday.
Currently I am stuck in Austin, Texas.  The weather has prevented me from returning to Tucson after being here to lead the wedding of my niece.  The airport has been closed since Sunday afternoon.  And this morning we awoke to a new layer of ice over everything after a night of freezing rain.  I had planned to be in front of our church, welcoming Ash Wednesday worshipers at a drive-through imposition of ashes.  Well, that ain't happenin'.  I'm sorry.

I am sitting in my brother's house, inside now set at 60 degrees to save gas that cannot be replaced for several days yet, looking out his front window at a winter scene.  The trees are heavy with ice.  The sego palm outside of the window has turned brown and is laden with snow and ice.  The sidewalk that we swept yesterday is a sheet of ice.  His dogs look forlorn when they have to go out to the bathroom.  Sadly, some birds have frozen.  Yesterday we ventured to the grocery store (which was only open from noon-5 p.m.).  It was like a war zone.  Shelves were empty.

And yet, it may just be the most meaningful Ash Wednesday.  It starts my season of Lent perfectly.  Horribly.  The season of Lent is that deep reminder of how difficult Jesus' journey really was.  He faced so many challenges.  I now imagine his head hanging on the cross in despair, looking out over what had been beautiful, now laden with the cold, hard-hearted people he had loved so deeply.  Lent is that time we remember the struggles of faith and life.  It's a difficult journey.

Lent ends with Jesus' resurrection.  Life is made new.  Forgiveness is given.  The power of sin is overcome.  The life ahead of us is beautiful, glorious, eternal.

But the pathway there isn't always easy.  It begins this year in the cold, hard-earth, for me.  A reminder of how much awfulness there can be in life, and how much more powerful God's plan of grace in Jesus really is.

I actually treasure this day.  It's forcing me to think more about my faith, my life, to not take things for granted, to be in the struggle with others (my wife and my brother's family are all here muddling through together).  And I get to use technology to be on-line with you.

Join me for the journey of Lent that begins today, Ash Wednesday.  I'll be live on-line (unless we lose power) at 9 a.m. Tucson Time (MST).  I'll lead the imposition of ashes.  Gather some ashes from your fireplace or grab some dirt from your yard or a potted plant.  Mix is with a little olive oil or vegetable oil.  Be ready.  We'll start our journey of Lent together.  If you can't be on-line at that exact time, my video will archive on our three platforms and you can participate sometime later today.   Join members of our Worship Planning team throughout the day as they share some Ash Wednesday experiences:  (all Tucson Time, MST)
    Noon:  Laura Manning
    3 p.m.   Susan Simpson
    6 p.m. Donna Kuehn and family

This may not be the Ash Wednesday I had planned, but here, in the cold, starkness of a winter blast in Austin, it may just be the best reminder of the journey to the cross and the Resurrection.

Start your journey of Lent today.
Peace in our journeys,
Pastor Steve Melde

P.S.  check out our website:  www.cpctucsonaz.org
Under the header tab "News and Events" you will find our Newsletter tab.  Click there and you will find my weekly Lenten study, "The 7 Last Words of Christ."   Each week gives you a particular phrase that Jesus spoke from the cross to review and study.  I invite you to go deeper in your faith this lenten season.