Hagerstown Church of the Brethren
15 S. Mulberry St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301-733-3565 * FAX: 301-733-3598

"Church in the Heart of the City with the City at Heart"
Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

From Pastor Audrey's Desk - April 2019

Lent can be a very sobering time.  As we approach Good Friday and all the darkness that day holds, we are encouraged to look deeply within ourselves so we can reflect on who and whose we are.  This practice can be intimidating.  If we look inside and like everything we see, then we are probably kidding ourselves.  However, if we look inside and despise everything we see, then we are missing something important, too.  This kind of self-reflection is difficult and takes time.  Good thing Lent is 40 days long. 
Last year at the Women’s Retreat we were challenged on Sunday morning to look at ourselves in a mirror and truly appreciate who God made us to be, in all of our brokenness and beauty.  It was difficult for many women who are used to seeing their faults rather than what God is and can do through them.  For those who are self-deprecating, this is a time to see your worth.  God gave his son for YOU.  For those who are proud, this is a time to be reminded of your brokenness.  Christ went to the cross for YOU. 
It can be difficult to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to truly see ourselves as God sees us, both made in God’s image but also broken humans.  Frederick Buechner writes “It can be pretty depressing business all in all, but if sackcloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end” (from Whistling in the Dark: A Doubter’s Dictionary).  If we can be honest with ourselves and do the hard work of self-reflecting, new life and resurrection wait at the end of such difficult work.  God can transform us into something beautiful and do amazing work through us even though we are broken.   
It is only by experiencing Good Friday, however, that we can truly appreciate   Easter Sunday.  It is only by fully understanding the beautiful mess we each are that we can truly appreciate what Christ has done.  So as tempting as it is to skip to new life, we must first let the things within us that are unholy die before new life can come.  What unholy things do you need to shed in order to experience new life?  What needs to die in you so that God can bring about resurrection?  Take   advantage of this sacred season so that God can make something beautiful happen in you! Pastor Audrey