For me, Lent serves as a journey, a metaphorical one filled with twists and turns which ends at the foot of a cross in Jerusalem. I’ve faithfully made the journey for over 60 years in a variety of settings: Los Angeles, Glendora, Seoul, Pasadena, Riverside, Richmond, Dearborn, Punxsutawney, and Lancaster. Each of the settings was unique and incorporated the particular “vibe” of the community in which I was living and working. Wherever it was, the journey had the same characteristics and the same goal: spiritual awakening and renewal. The journey’s never been lonely, as I’ve always traveled with an amazing group of pilgrims, each of whom brought along something unique for the trip: ideas, spiritual gifts, positive attitudes, life experiences, intuition, maturity, wisdom, grace, joy, dignity, and faith. Each person relying on the others for sustenance and nurture to see them through to the end! That’s the true nature of community – none of us, not one of us, can hope to reach Jerusalem on our own. This year is no exception as the congregation of Bethany Church embarks on its own journey to Jerusalem. Our sojourn is enhanced by the 2020 Lenten Devotional, “Becoming a Beloved Community.” I hope each of you has obtained a copy and are faithfully reading the daily devotions which feature the voices of 19 ordained ministers, chaplains, lay pastors and ruling elders from the Presbytery of the Pacific. Their goal is to refresh our hearts and minds as we walk along the road. So, let’s hold each other in prayer as we walk and talk. Let’s be sensitive to the joys and concerns of our fellow travelers. I need you as much as you need me – that’s what makes us a community. The Risen Christ walks with us, encouraging and sustaining us, opening our eyes and ears to the needs of those around us. And, when we arrive, let’s plan to gather in the garden on Easter Morning to celebrate the extraordinary event we call The Resurrection.
Grace & Peace