A community church in North Andover, Massachusetts

Welcome to March: Let’s Feast!

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.Charles Dickens
Every cold and dark phase ends and hence begins a beautiful phase of warmth and vibrance. Don’t believe? Just notice March.Anamika Mishra

Welcome to March and to the season of Lent, that period of waiting that began on February 22 with Ash Wednesday and continues for forty days until Palm Sunday, on April 2. Lent is a season of self-examination, spiritual reflection, repentance, sacrifice, and focused prayer. Lent is a time to examine our hearts and lives, to acknowledge our sins, to look for the ways we are not choosing the gospel or welcoming those whom Jesus calls us to embrace. In the process, we turn away from the sins and self-centeredness (all those behaviors, habits, etc. that draw us away from God’s purposes) and toward our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this way we prepare to meet Christ in his resurrected glory on Easter. We pray for a change of heart toward greater love of God and neighbor, and all that accompanies that growing love.

In February we restarted a Bible study on the book of Mark, meeting on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Callard House. This study lead by the pastor includes a time of fellowship, prayer, and study. We hope to complete our studies of Mark, covering the resurrection, right around Easter. Come and join us. We are applying Scripture to our daily lives, which leads to some very interesting discussions.

Projecting ahead into April just a bit, we are looking forward to organizing another Easter egg hunt this year, including children from our church, Little Learners, and our closest neighbors. If you would like to be a part of that or have children who would like to participate, contact the pastor. We’ll have more details on that event coming up soon. Last year’s egg hunt was wonderful and we’re looking forward to building on that experience.

We’ll have our Maundy Thursday service as well. That service takes us right up to Jesus’ crucifixion, but stops there. That way we get to reflect upon the more somber aspects of the season, on what Jesus sacrificed for our sakes. It is an excellent preparation for the Easter morning celebration.

I was watching a YouTube video on the Townsends channel. John Townsends covers life in the 1700s. Recently, he produced a video on what constituted a feast for a poor family in the 1700s. The food was what you would expect, inexpensive and filling. However, toward the end of the video, John stated what really constituted a feast for the poor. It had nothing to do with the food. It had everything to do with sharing with other people. The feast was the gathering of the people, swapping food, stories, and shared happiness that comes from being together. That was a profound statement. It also applies to our church. Whenever we are able to gather together, to worship together, to share our joys and concerns together, we are having a feast. In that light, the grand feast at the end of time when all are gathered together around the table in joy and unity makes all the sense in the world.

I look forward to seeing you all throughout this exciting month of March, feasting together, whatever the weather may bring.

~Pastor Jeff