As of yesterday, February 14, 2018, ASH WEDNESDAY, we bury the word ALLELULIA, here at St. Timothy, and don’t say it again until Easter. We do not use it at church. We do not use it at home. We let it rest, as it were, during Lent, so that when it reappears on Easter, we may hear it anew. In fact, once it returns on Easter, we give it no rest at all, repeating it again and again, in celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.The omission of alleluia during Lent goes back at least to the fifth century in the western church. The custom of actually bidding it farewell, however, developed in the Middle Ages. Based on the Hebrew word, hallelu yah, meaning “Praise the Lord,” alleluia has been a word of great praise to God in the life of the church and was prominent in early Christian liturgies. Because of the penitential character of the season of Lent in the Western church, singing or saying the word “alleluia” has historically been suspended during Lent’s forty days. This period of individual and congregational reflection on the quality of our baptismal faith and life suggests that the joyful nature of alleluia is more appropriately reserved for our Easter celebrations when it is given full and jubilant voice.
During the Sundays of Lent, from February 18th through March 18th, worship will look a little different. The biggest change will be the order of service.
The scripture readings and the sermon will be at the end of the service. This upset in our routine shakes us up and causes us to pay attention. More importantly, though, the sermon at the end of the service allows us to go home with God’s Word still on our minds.
(In case you were wondering, we wend with Communion so that we leave fed, forgiven, renewed in Christ.)
Our Gospel readings will be from the Gospel of Mark and will focus on the last week of Christ’s life. We cannot get palms by February 18th for our Palm Sunday. You are encouraged to bring something to wave in the air to celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry.
What would you bring if Jesus came to Portland???
Feb. 18 Palm Sunday
Bring something to honor and celebrate Jesus’s arrival (instead of palms)– What kind of King is Jesus?
Trouble in the temple
Conflict and More Conflict
The Last Supper and Garden of Gethsename
March 25 CANTATA
The Last Week of Christ from Palm Sunday to Crucifixion
April 1 Easter
By Pastor Jennifer Beil
Forty days and forty nights. That is the length of Lent. (For those keeping track of actual days, Lent spans 46 days and nights. Sundays are not included because they are a “mini-Easter” and the solemnity of Lent is overshadowed by the joyful triumph of Easter.) Forty days and forty nights. That is a very long time. Forty days and forty nights. What difference can forty days and forty nights really make?
In the Bible, the number forty has great significance. First, larger numbers in the Bible are meant to convey a bigger idea and not an exact count. So, forty would be a really long time and 5000 would be far too many to count. Second, forty denotes suffering. Lastly, forty reminds us of the many times the number has come up in the Bible and its significance for us.
The Hebrew people wandered in the wilderness for forty years. Doubts and fear plagued the Hebrew people . How has your own trust in God faltered in the past??
The first Kings, Saul and David, reigned for forty years. Fear and lack of trust in God resulted in suffering. How have your fears and lack of trust in God resulted in your own suffering??
Jonah declared to Nineveh that God would destroy the great city in forty days. Nineveh did repent and the destruction did not happen. When have you repented and experienced God’s grace??
Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness for forty days. Every day we face temptations that slowly can whittle away our faith. How has your faith helped resist temptations and doubt??
Jesus lay dead in the toumb for forty hours. For those who followed Jesus this was brokenness, betrayal, grief. Have you ever felt like you have lost everything, even the ground under your feet was slipping away??
What difference can forty make?? Forthe Hebrew people forty years meant learning to truly trust in God. For Jesus forty days in the wilderness led him into the heart of humanity, into our fear and anxiety, our delusions of grandeur, and our doubts. Forty hours conquered sin, hatred, and death. Forty can and does change everything.
On February 14th we begin 40 days and 40 nights of solemnity and deep reflection; forty days and forty nights of fasting and praying; forty days and forty nights of serving and giving up; forty days and forty nights of letting goand drawing closer to God. Lent is forty days. It is a long time to suffer, reflect, and purge. Lent is forty days. It feels like a long time but it is enough time to change you if you will let it.
CHUCH COUNCIL 2018:
Thanks to the members for their faith in me and the newly elected members of the chuch council. Your support with prayer, areeing to volunteer for projects, and continuing financial support are appreciated.
We had our retreat/planning meeting on February 3rd. Please feel free to talk to any council member regarding your dreams/concerns. Remember that all members are welcome to monthly meetings as well.
Council Members for 2018 that were installed on Feb. 4th are:
President– Sherry Willmschen
Vice-President– Candace Olvera
Treasurer– Cathy Henderson
Financial Secretary– Shannon Holley
Secretary– Jean Whitford
Members at Large– Ray Whitford, Ernie Rippe, Pete Timoteo, Karen Ropar, Karen Olomua, and Greta Christensen.
Pray for our council as they bless our ministries here at St. Timothy
Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World From a Hospital in West Africa
By Sarah Thebarge
I just finished Sarah Thebarge’s second book. Her first book was “The Invisible Girls; A Memoir.” She is a breast cancer survivor at a very young age and a Christian. Her first book highlights her meeting a Somali family on MAX and her helping and getting to know them.
She trained as a physician assistant and the second book is about her 3 month work in Togo, South Africa. She is overwhelmed there with the pain and deaths. She looks to her faith in many ways and comes to the discovery that God is love and God loves all. She reads about Sisphus who is punished by carrying a rock up and down a hill forever. He “loves” the rock which makes the task possible rather than painful. This plays out in life. Sarah carries love in her eyes, many patients said, but she gets discouraged with the deaths and pain. She comes to realize that when we look at our challenges as ” love” we show as Jesus did that love is why we do things. As she returns home the song “All is Well” comes to her.
This was very relevant to me today.
ALL IS WELL.
I own the book and would love to share is. Let me know if you would like to borrow it.