March 2017, A Note from Pastor Steve

**“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.”**

_Mark 1:12-13_

I was recently speaking to a friend who observed that she feels that her life is currently deep in Lent and nowhere near Easter. I get that. At least, I think I understand what she means. Our country continues to be mired in political strife. Our community is reeling from the shootings of two Indian immigrants in Olathe. Even the weather seems distressed -- as Keystone and Revolution gathered together with other community churches for Ash Wednesday, Pastor Jenn Klein’s message included the observation that this is Kansas City’s first February without snow since 1892. It feels a bit more like forty days of wandering in the wilderness than it does a time of new life.

Yet, I also know that Lent invites us to be doing more than questioning the wilderness in which we find ourselves. It encourages us to find new ways of changing our relationship with God -- new ways of engaging with the Divine in our lives. While some of us will find something to give up -- encountering a spiritual discipline of self-sacrifice -- each of us should be finding a way to add a new dimension to our spiritual practices. Perhaps that means intentionally crafting out time for prayer or individual Bible study. Maybe it means joining a short-term group Bible study like the one Bobbie Radford will be offering during Lent. Maybe it means finding a new service opportunity in your community. These are just a few of the ways we can explore more deeply our relationship with God.

Because the unfortunate reality is that at the end of Lent, our world will still feel like a wilderness. We will still struggle to find structure and meaning in our local and global environments. But perhaps we will have changed by the end of the season. Perhaps we as individuals and as a church will have drawn strength from renewed relationships with the God who empowers us to view the world with new eyes and who walks beside us as we seek to craft pockets of peace and justice in our communities.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Steve

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March 3, 2017 - 5:31 pm

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