Last Sunday after the service someone asked me, “Do you really hear voices?” I said, “No.” I think she meant literal, audible voices…and my “No” was in response to her. In fact, I think I’ve only heard one person in my life claim to have literally heard the audible voice of God.
But I wish I had replied that, “Yes, I hear voices.” In this sense. In a play about Joan of Arc, she claims to have heard the voice of God. Her accuser says, “It’s your imagination.” And she said, “Of course, that’s where I hear God’s voice, in my imagination.” I hope that’s true for me, too. In fact, I hope that’s true for all of you. God speaks to us in our imaginations. The characters of this ancient book we call the Bible can speak to us in and through our imaginations. If not there, where and how is it that God speaks to us?
This Sunday we’ll hear from one of God’s great prophets, Jeremiah, who heard and spoke the word of the Lord. As we come to the last Sunday to focus on the Old Testament concept of covenant, we’ll hear him promising a “new covenant,” one that we Christians may well see being fulfilled in Jesus. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) And Jesus will have to deal once again with confused disciples who make a ridiculous request, oblivious to what he had just told them.
On Sunday, I encourage you to pass through the entrance by the church office and take a look at the new Peace Pole. Uniquely crafted just for us, it has the message of peace in 8 different languages. It will replace the old deteriorating peace pole outside the office entrance, but in a slightly different location, in the near future. At that time we’ll tell you more of its interesting story.
I hope everyone will participate in some appropriate way for them in the Lenten Missions offering. We have now received $10,000+ toward the Backpack program (food for children at Central Elementary) and almost $3900 for the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, which supports the basic operating expenses for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. On Monday UMCOR announced that it was already in conversation with missionaries in the area and partner disaster response agencies as to the necessary response for the people of the island nation of Vanuatu, which was devastated by last weekend’s Cyclone Pam. This kind of immediate response is made possible by the OGHS offering. Thanks to all of you who have responded generously.
Just one Sunday left in Lent now, before the beginning of Holy Week next Sunday, March 29. We’ll seek a message from God’s word, and hopefully learn something from an ancient prophet, some confused disciples, and, of course, from Jesus. Come ready to listen for ancient voices to convey words of truth and life. And bring a friend.
See You Sunday on the Lenten Journey,