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February 28 Post

 “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”    Psalm 42:1-2


The mood of Lent better matches the storms of New England than the perfect tropical weather of Florida in winter. I remember one year in Maine when the winds howled, a tree came down on York Street, and a Deacon’s meeting at the historic Parsonage took place in the dark. There was something charming about meeting by candle and firelight to be sure. Everyone was gracious about the whole thing, but between the microbursts, nor’easters, record snow and cold, ice and wind, many northerners move south and confess they don’t miss the fury.


Yet there’s comfort that when the storms of life swirl madly around us, some things remain the same. Whether our morning tradition is oatmeal or eggs, we want to wake up with our slippers where we left them the night before, and the same brand of coffee waiting in our morning cup just so, as we pour over our cherished version of the news.


No wonder Lent seems hard. The journey through Lent more closely resembles fierce weather than a predictable morning ritual. Here in the south, we head out the door pondering nothing more significant than whether to grab a sweater. Up north, we quit the house and remember to duck. God knows what challenges may fly our way.


Wherever we live, during Lent we see ghosts and shadows, those aspects of ourselves that come flying out of hidden places unbidden. They dismay us, disarm us, and disappoint us. Sometimes our flaws, foibles, or might I say, our sins, even scare us. We discover in Lent that our capacity for selfishness is still greater than we imagined. Our unwillingness to forgive and let go of a perceived slight or wrong remains intact. We’re tempted to turn back. It seems easier to stop our Lenten practices at this point. After all, we’re nearly half-way to Easter. What difference would it make? Who would know?


Resist the temptation to let go of the journey. Stay the course. The path ahead may yet be difficult to be sure. But God is faithful, and with the temptation will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it. Regardless of the storms outside or the turmoil in your heart, you can always count on God to see you through absolutely anything.


Prayer for Today: God of grace, thank you for your unmerited love for me regardless of the choices I have made. God of mercy, thank you for your relentless forgiveness for my unfaithfulness to your plans. Set me back on the path to life and grant me your peace. Amen


God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.


Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland, Senior Minister

The Community Church of Vero Beach, Florida



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