Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

Ash Wednesday was observed on February 17, with the imposition of ashes and the ancient declaration, “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” For the first time in the history of Trinity Lutheran Church the ashes that mark the entrance into Lent were distributed in a pandemic drive-through. Masked for safety, masked to show our love of neighbor, we shared a sacred moment, and reconnected with dear friends. It was so successful that we are planning a drive-in baptism next week and drive through circumcisions the following week. Because of the pandemic we are asking you to bring your own water and knives.

On Wednesday, before the parking lot event, our staff gathered for Holy Communion and the imposition of ashes. Soon thereafter, I walked down to the Preschool to see our little friends. A four-year-old girl looked at me quizzically, “What is on your head Pastor Jim?” I responded, “Those are ashes making the sign of the cross on my head.” I had piqued her curiosity and she asked, “What does it mean?” I replied, “It means that God loves you.” She smiled, said “Good,” and went about her Preschool work.

Sometimes the simplest explanation is the best. What is the Gospel message all about? God loves me. God loves you. God loves your neighbor. God loves the unlovable. God just loves. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

There is a tradition that has been followed by Christians for thousands of years. During the season of Lent we give something up. Let’s give up the judgement of others, let’s give up intolerance and bigotry, let’s give up the uncivil discourse and mean-spirited Facebook posts. Let’s give up highfalutin theology and just keep it simple. God just loves and we should do the same.

One day closer,
Pastor Jim