“have and to hold…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death.”
They did this all in the loving power of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We invited all of our congregation: the singles and widowed, the divorced and separated, the never married and the re-married, to join in prayer for these couples, and to surround them with “a community of love and forgiveness.”
We did this knowing that it’s very difficult to have a deeply loving and faithful marriage in our day and age.
We do this knowing that many of us are in pain and often bear scars of families that have fallen apart.
We do this knowing that some of the hopes and dreams for marriage and a committed relationship are sometimes unfulfilled or interrupted by death.
It can be hard to be present for this service of Marriage Covenant Renewal.
Yet we still do it because we have a stake in all the marriages of our congregation.
The new ones, the long lasting ones, the ones filled with pain and brokenness and the ones of dreams unfulfilled.
We know how painful life, and especially our family life, can be.
Yet we also know and affirm that it’s exactly into such lives as this that Jesus comes and brings God’s kingdom.
The power and love of God is unfazed by the pain and hurt, the death and destruction of our world. Christ engages all of life, the good with the bad, the tragic and the lonely and seeks to transform it and bring it into a deep and loving eternal relationship with God.
As we journey through the season of Lent we will move through some of the locations that Jesus traveled, we’ll remember his teachings, we’ll participate in his events, even standing by and watching his crucifixion and death.
In the midst of life, Paul proclaimed that:
“neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us
from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And so we stand with Christ as we engage all our relationships, the good ones and the bad ones, the loving ones and the painful ones, and we know that God’s love is more powerful than anything we ever have to face.
This is the promise of Easter, the promise of eternal life. This is the hope that gives us strength to take all the appropriate and graceful actions needed to live a Christian life in our world, even when life is broken and painfully tragic.
This is the rock upon which all our relationships are grounded, especially the relationships we proclaim in marriage.
This is why we take one Sunday a year to celebrate, pray for and uphold the marriages of our congregation.
We invite you to bring your whole life to worship every week… your highest highs and your lowest lows… your successes and your failures… your joys and your sorrows.
It is in worship that we surround each other with that community of love and forgiveness that we pledge to each other in Christ’s name.
Join us as we continue the journey, as we look to Easter, and as we remember that we are the “Easter People.”
Join us in facing all the fears and discouragement of the world and proclaim the overwhelming power and joy of the love of Christ.
Join us as we live together with Jesus Christ, with one faith, one baptism and one hope.
You, your family, and all those around you are invited to live in the loving power of the Resurrected Jesus, no matter what has happened to you over the years.
Join in Christ’s Holy Spirit and let your life be transformed.
What scripture has stayed with you this week?
What have others learned about Jesus Christ through of you?
How goes it with your soul?
Grace and Peace,
(Share this blog with your friends. Talk about it at #lancasterunited.)
P.S. Please put on your calendar the this season of:
*Lent Prayer Service: Mar. 22: Labyrinth @ 4pm & Taize Service @ 5 pm.
*Messy Church: Thurs. Mar. 18 @ 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
*Palm/Passion Sunday Service: Mar. 28 @ 9 & 10:45 am
*Easter Concert: Mar. 28 @ 2 pm
*Maundy Thurs: Apr 2 @ 7 pm
*Stations of the Cross: Good Friday Apr. 3 @ 9 am- 6pm
*Good Friday: Apr 3 @ 7 pm – Palmdale UMC
*Easter Egg / Messy Easter: Sat. Apr. 4 @ 10 am – Noon
Sunrise @ 6 am –Holy Communion
9 am Praise Celebration
10:45 am Relaxed Traditional