2 Thessalonians 2: 13-15 – ”But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.” – NRSV
As Paul was attempting to communicate to the church in Thessalonica, he had to help them understand the importance of tradition coupled with salvation through sanctification. He was a trained Pharisee and knew the Word of God. He knew the tradition involved. He knew the importance. We cannot forget how important our traditions are to our faith formation as well.
We had the unfortunate circumstance of leaving our church empty in the middle of our Lenten season. We had hoped that we would be back in worship for Easter, but that was not part of the plan either. In August, I would like us to take the opportunity to get back what has been missing from our year. We are going to spend time in August remembering our season of Lent. I do not assume that we will be able to recreate the environment or the atmosphere, but we can remember and celebrate as a way of bringing this season and tradition back to the forefront of our minds.
There are two traditional seasons in which we typically take weeks to remember and refocus upon the special holiday to come. Lent is the time before Easter Sunday in which we remember the sacrifice made by Jesus to bring us salvation. Likewise, Advent is the time before Christmas in which we remember and celebrate the coming of God Incarnate, Jesus, who would save us from our sins.
I pray that you will join us during this time to refocus and remember. We will be discussing ways in which we can refocus each week on what is important. We will speak of hunger, forgiveness, substitution, confession of sin, and trusting Jesus in our suffering. This is a time for us to remove the distractions of the world and be an active participant in our faith formation.
~ Pastor Mike