This post was also included in this week’s First Words:

We are moving ever deeper into Lent on our journey toward Holy Week. How’s the journey been for you? Like all journeys, there have been for me twists and turns, high points and not-so-high points.

Frederick Buechner has been one of my favorite authors since my seminary days. I considered using a quote from him last Sunday when we were thinking about the “kingdom of heaven,” (Matthew’s title, same as “kingdom of God”) but did not. I thought you might find it meaningful, whether you were there Sunday or not. Here’s the quote:

Another amazing, thrilling, successful Pancake Day is in the history books of FUMC! From early morning until evening they came, hungry and anxious for those favorite buttermilks or buckwheats. And they were served by hundreds of smiling FUMC folk.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m thinking it broke some kind of attendance record. At the peak, around 6:00 or a bit later, I’m told the line went all the way down the hall, then up the hall past my office. That’s a long line! I wish we had some way of knowing a number.

I was pleased to read in Wednesday’s Mountaineer that Pancake Day is next Tuesday! We had an ad, but also got a nice write up and picture of some of our expert chefs at their grills. If you are new to the church and haven’t yet experienced a Pancake Day, I will tell you there is nothing else like it. Every year I am amazed at the numbers of people that come, and also at the number of volunteers who cook, and serve, and clean with smiles on their faces. It is an amazing day, not to be missed.

It’s a frosty morning as I write this, but the sun is coming up and the promise is for a warm, spring-like day. The jonquils are blooming, too, and we are reminded that, while we may yet have some winter to go, these warm days are at least a hint of what is to come. Spring is my favorite time of the year!

I struggle to know what to write in this continuing contemptuous, divisive time in our nation’s history. The obvious thing to say is that I am deeply mourning this brokenness, as are many of you. I can also say, as can many of you, that I am praying for our country and for our leaders. I hope we can all say that we are praying not only for those of our own party or persuasion, but for all concerned. Jesus taught that. We can do no less.


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