17 Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
past events won’t be remembered;
they won’t come to mind.
18 Be glad and rejoice forever
in what I’m creating,
because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
and her people as a source of gladness.
I’ve heard the comment a lot lately that “things have been feeling a lot more normal” at church. We’ve had fuller attendance, both old and new faces, more ministries than I can keep count of. And I think, particularly after the stewardship campaign of “My Church Matters”, there’s been excitement about the future of Medford UMC. I think one thing that we’re really shaking off in order to do this, is trying to keep the words, “Well, before COVID…” off of our tongues. Of course, it slips sometimes, but I think our growth and our health is really dependent on us completely losing that from our mentality.
In today’s text from the prophet Isaiah, there’s the theme of the creation of the new heaven and new earth, and even says, “past events won’t be remembered, they won’t come to mind”. It’s not that we’re going to forget that COVID is part of our story, but we can come to a place where it just no longer restrains us from the forward momentum we’re experiencing. Sometimes it can be easy to focus on the negatives, the things we no longer have, the things that are different – but if we take a cue from Isaiah, we can see an example of forward and upward thinking.
by Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Today, I invite your lent spiritual discipline to be an act of gratitude and positivity. Think of three things that has really been exciting you either about church or about your spiritual life currently.
Prayer: Creator God, we give thanks for all the hard work and perseverance that is moving us from a place of surviving to thriving. May You hear our prayers as our rejoicing for Your faith in Your people. Amen.
As We Begin Lent
For our Lent series this year, we’ll be using the Adam Hamilton book Luke: Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts, and Outlaws. At his website, you can find a 40-day reading plan to help you read through the Gospel of Luke during Lent. And join us for worship, in-person or online, at 9:00 & 10:30 every Sunday.