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Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rehab is a word that can refer to many different things. Just a quick glance through the Wikipedia article on rehabilitation, or “rehab,” points to issues ranging from health (cognitive rehab, wildlife rehab, drug rehab, occupational rehab, physical rehab, psychiatric rehab, vision rehab, vocational rehab) to politics (restoration of disgraced politicians) to home improvement (Rehab Addict!). In general, the word “rehabilitate” means to restore to a condition of good health, ability to work; to restore to good condition or operation; or to restore a person’s reputation. Similarly, the annual observance of the Lenten discipline among Christians is a time to seek restoration for our lives. It is a time to reflect, take stock of our spiritual condition, and realign our lives. Our method for taking stock is the baptismal covenant as our reference point and making good use of the means of grace as our method. We enter the season through the Ash Wednesday call “in the name of the church, to observe a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word” (The United Methodist Book of Worship. Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992, 322 from The Book of Common Prayer,1979, Public Domain). As we contemplate the method of Lent, even the spiritually mature among us become aware of how out of step we are with where we are called to be. We all have work to do.
There is much to mine from considering our Lenten journey this year within the frame of rehab, much to explore, much to learn. But the core of the learning in rehab, like the core of the learning in Lent, isn’t cognitive. It’s behavioral. In rehab, we learn how to live differently, to set a “new normal” for ourselves and our relationships after a period of time or perhaps a crisis has made it clear to us it is impossible to live as we had before. Likewise, in Lent, we focus on helping those coming to faith in Christ for the first time, as well as those making their way back to Christ and the fellowship of the church after a period of absence or neglect, primarily in concrete, behavioral ways. Our goal for all who engage this period of time is that the way of Jesus becomes either the “new normal,” or, for those who have been consistent in the journey over time, is strengthened as our normal.
It is with a sense of gratitude and hope of a journey well-begun that we enter Holy Week. All of what has come before has prepared us to walk through this final leg of the journey with Christ and his church, through his suffering, execution, death, burial… and finally, after all of that, his resurrection.
You are invited to join in this journey. Remember that we will be taking up a special offering on Ash Wednesday, and a Mission Basket for Rise Against Hunger on March 25. You can also give a donation each Sunday during the Lent season.
Sermon Series – REHAB
March 11 – Recovery · bulletins
March 4, 5 – Program · bulletins
February 25, 26 – Wilderness/Intervention · bulletins
February 18, 19 – Practicing to be in God's Presence · bulletins
Sermon Series – Be•lov•ed
February 11, 12 – Living as the Beloved · bulletins
February 4, 5 – Given · bulletins
January 28, 29 – Broken · bulletins
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
January 21, 22 – Blessed · bulletins
January 14, 15 – Taken · bulletins
January 7 – Being the Beloved · bulletins