Spring is coming…

I see it in the daffodils down the street, sprouting thick green stalks and peeks of yellow buds.

I see it in the sunlight that finally, finally is cutting through the gray winter’s sky and softening, drying, warming, loosening all the remaining hardness left behind.

I hear it in the sunrise birdsong, in the voices of neighbors out walking dogs and running into one another again after a long hibernation.

After a long winter, there’s just nothing sweeter and more hopeful than the first glimpses of spring to return life and possibility to spaces where it felt gone.

At First Baptist, we have been through a long winter — yes, a long literal winter (snowstorms and ice storms and rain on rain on rain, oh my!), but a long figurative one as well. For a number of years now, we have faced hard things — all the direct and residual changes with our buildings, the closure of our Children’s Center, staff transitions, shifting of ministries and missions, theological questions, and all the ‘usual’ challenges that come with life together within a particular community of faith.

This year, we’re going to be spending the season of Lent together leaning towards what will be, like flowers leaning towards the sun. Through worship, fellowship, individual and communal study, and storytelling, we’re going to look for the texts and rhythms of Lent to point us towards the promise at the end of the wait — the nourishment, the abundance, the reconciliation, the new life at the end of the hardship. We’re going to ask ourselves how we as a church might imagine God shifting our energies from where we’ve been to where we’re going, inquiring about how we begin to bring our four missional priorities to life. Together, we’ll reach for spring, the promises and hope that awaits!

We’ll gather on Wednesday to mark Lent’s beginning with our annual Ash Wednesday service (6:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary — bring a friend!). And then for the Wednesdays that follow, we’ll hear each other’s stories of Becoming (read more in today’s eBlast and look for a final schedule next week!) We’ll have devotional guides and prayer opportunities throughout Lent, ways to engage our artistic sides and spaces to be quiet and contemplative. And through it all, we’ll warm to God’s promise that is as clear as a budding flower and clarifying as birdsong… for my friends, spring is coming!

Together in the work of Love,
Pastor Emily


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