The month of March has so much to offer. Each year, I would normally begin plants inside like the herbs, greens and tomatoes. The college basketball was huge in the state of Kentucky where Pamela I lived for over nine years. The 64 teams turn into 16, and then 4, then the championship. Outdoors we could see the first wild flowers, the crocus, and then the daffodils in Pennsylvania. I look forward to finding out what will be the first Alaskan flower of the year.
March, among many other things, is always Lent. A forty day journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter. A retired pastor and mission trip leader, Walt Hayes, from Palmer, Alaska sent me a note of a girl he knew as she grew up in Alaska. Her father pastored in Douglas, Nome, and Anchorage in the 1960’s and 70’s. She now lives in New York. She put together a video on YouTube entitled 40 Days of Jesus in the Desert. It features cartoon-like drawings of Jesus going into the desert. Each illustration, drawn by artist Si Smith, is very expressive. It crescendos with Jesus’ temptations. The cartoon tells the story of a very real person doing what someone alone in the desert might do. It is funny and thought-provoking. It reminds us what a forty day journey could be like.
In other media this year, the movie Risen was released. It tells the story of a Roman tribune who comes on the scene of the crucifixion at the time of Jesus’ death. He follows up on the strange things occurring around him. The portrayal of the disciples of Jesus is one of the most interesting I have ever seen. They are devastated, but claim to have seen him alive. They are afraid, but they are overjoyed. They certainly do not have all the answers, yet they are willing to believe what is unbelievable. The movie is well made and very realistic. It is one fine use of modern movie making. You walk away with a sense that you have a story to tell. You are part of this great, good news.
I hope that you use this time to draw close to Christ and perhaps hear the story in a new way. May you become a part of this great, good news of forgiveness, freedom, and new birth.
It is an honor to be your pastor,