Pastor’s Message |February 2018

I remember my college professor at the beginning of a class on English literature stating, “There truly are only two themes in all of art and literature, and every story boils down to one or both: Love and Death.”  That probably had felt a little like a spoiler at the beginning of a mountain of reading, giving away the ending to every story I am about to encounter.   Whether the professor’s assessment of all of art and literature is correct, I don’t know yet, I’m still reading.  But there is a lot of truth that Love and Death are two of the most important aspects of human life, and it is important for us to think about them, and curiously enough, they do go together.

What do you suppose it means that almost everyone laughs when they discover that on the calendar this year, Ash Wednesday falls of Valentine’s Day (or does Valentine’s Day fall on Ash Wednesday?).  Love and Death are met together in the themes of this day, and we may chuckle nervously over their proximity.  But here there is no denying that they belong together.  In the story of Jesus Christ, the greatest story ever told, love and death are inseparable.  Jesus is the embodiment of the eternal love of God, Whose great love sent Him into the world to teach and demonstrate the love of the Father, even under the constant threat of death.  We must not look away from the sight of the death of Jesus, because this is the most beautiful demonstration of love the world has ever seen.  His death on the cross for us is beautiful, and Christ’s victory over death is astonishing, and the power behind all of this is love.  God’s love, for you and for me.

So yes, Love and Death belong together.  These are your heritage as Baptized Children of God.  It is a beautiful gift that the Church calendar offers us a whole season of Lent to listen and gaze upon the story and image of Love and Death together.  We each need to ponder the truth of our own impending death, all the little deaths caused by our sin, and the love of God which gives us life and restores us to life again and again because of our relationship with Jesus.  I urge you not to miss out on the transformative beauty of this story of love and death; it is Christ’s story, it is your story.

          I love to tell the story.  I’ll sing this theme in glory, and tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

 Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Leslie M. Richard