“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14
As you all know, I’ve been on paternity leave these last few weeks, but I am excited to announce that I have returned and will be back at worship this Sunday. Also, as an important aside, Rachel and Harper are both doing well! Thank you to everyone for your prayers, well wishes, and home-cooked meals.
This Sunday at church, we’re going to be entering the 3rd week of Lent, and for the second half of this sacred season, we’re going to be reflecting on three of Jesus’ most thought-provoking parables. And while I don’t want to give too much away, this week’s parable will focus on the theme of humility.
Long ago, probably sometime in the 8th century BCE, an important Israelite prophet named Micah was trying to get the people of Judah to return to God. And to help them understand what this meant, Micah gave them a memorable statement that helped them understand God’s will for their community:
“…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Powerful words indeed. But as I consider Micah’s words, it occurs to me that it raises an important question. And that is what does it mean to walk humbly with God? And what does it mean to be humble?
Unfortunately, when we hear the word humility, many of us automatically assume that being humble means having a low view and estimation of oneself. In other words, being humble is about having low or poor self-esteem. But I don’t think that’s what humility means in the slightest.
Instead, humility is about simply recognizing our limitations and acknowledging that we need God’s mercy in our lives to forgive us, to change us, and to work in and through us. Or, to put it slightly differently, to be humble is to be dependent on God.
Friends, this Lenten season, may all of us recognize our great need for God’s grace.
Benefit Concert for Ukraine
On Sunday, April 3rd at 2:30 pm, our church will be hosting a choral concert, in partnership with Redivivus Opera to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. This concert will be free of charge and open to the entire community. There will be a basket in the back of the sanctuary where donations can be made. You can make the check out to “Care International” and put “Ukraine Emergency” in the memo section. You can also leave cash and we will send in your donation to Care International.
Small-Group Study: “The Walk”
During Lent, our small groups will be going through a study based on Rev. Adam Hamilton’s new book called “The Walk.” Throughout this study, you’ll learn more about the spiritual practices that can help us grow closer to God and mature in Christlikeness.
Our Tuesday group will be led by Lynn Becker and held on Tuesdays at 1 pm. Our Sunday morning group will meet at 9 am on Sundays and be led by Bruce LaPenta. Both groups will meet in the A-Wing Conference room. If you are interested in being a part of either group, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Bruce (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lynn (email@example.com).
Please be aware that anyone may supply flowers for the altar. There is a sign-up flower chart on the bulletin board right outside the sanctuary. The cost is $20, and an announcement will be added to the Sunday bulletin to indicate who the flowers are for. If you have any questions, please contact the church office.
Easter Plant Sale
The Easter Plant sale has begun, and order forms are available on the back table in the sanctuary, as well as an insert in the Sunday bulletin. You may also call the church office to place an order. All orders must be received no later than April 10th, and will be on display Sunday, April 17th. You may take your flowers home with you after that Easter Service.
Sharing Prayer Requests
If you have a prayer request, you can fill out a prayer card in the back of the sanctuary or email our Office Manager, Gretchen, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add it to the list on the back of our bulletin. You can also email Gretchen to take off any prayer requests that are no longer relevant or needed.