March 2017

Who was St. Patrick?

As he still lives among that “great cloud of witnesses,” which surrounds the throne of God, perhaps I should ask; who is he?

First and foremost, St. Patrick is a child of God; second, he is our brother in Christ.

Why did he become famous?

That is a longer story, and worthy of telling because his life brought Glory to God.

While Patrick was credited with driving all the snakes out of Ireland, he was God’s servant, who brought the Gospel of Jesus to Ireland.  He became a shepherd of God’s people there.

Time and folklore may have embellished his story, a wee bit, and yet the life he lived continues to inspire believers today:

Saint Patrick was a British boy, who became a slave in Ireland.  He later escaped from Ireland and was educated in continental monasteries.  As a servant of God, he returned to Ireland preaching and teaching the Gospel and building churches, among the very people who had held him a slave.  Saint Patrick is now the Patron Saint of Ireland.  He died about 485 A.D.

In Ireland, St. Patrick demonstrated the sacrificial love of God.  He wanted to give his life in order to make a difference in the lives of the Irish, regardless of how they had mistreated him when he was a boy.

One of the themes of Lent is self-sacrifice.

How are we doing with self-sacrifice?

Taking time to focus on the Lenten programs of the Church, along with worship, prayer, the study of His Word, fellowship and witness, can help us “To know Christ and make Him known.”

What is going on at Church this Lenten season?

To begin, we have written our own Lenten Devotional Guide, which features daily devotions for each of the forty days of Lent, plus the Sabbaths, leading up to Resurrection Sunday.  I want to take a moment to thank all of you, who contributed to this project.  I know God will bless you for taking time to share your hearts in this way.  The Lenten Devotional Guide begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017, and continues throughout Lent, until Easter Sunday morning.

Other special activities for Lent include:

Ash Wednesday Service, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 7:00 p.m., at Otterbein UMC.

Lenten Lunches sponsored by the Russell Area Association of Churches, March 8th through April 12th.  Otterbein will host the lunch on March 22.

Maundy Thursday Service & Holy Communion, Thursday, April 13, 2017, 7:00 p.m., at Bunker Hill UMC.

Good Friday Community Service, Fri. March 25, 2016, First Congregational Church, at 12:05 p.m.  Pastor Ron Wedel, preacher.

Easter Sunrise Service, Otterbein UMC, Sunday, April 16, at 6:45 a.m.

Easter Sunday Worship Services, at 9:15 a.m., Bunker Hill & 10:45 a.m., Otterbein.

Brother Patrick made a difference in the lives of the Irish, by receiving and offering the forgiveness of Christ.

Lent is a time when we should seek the Lord’s guidance and pray for those who are not walking with Him.  His great heart of Love is filled with compassion for the least, the last and the lost.  That includes you and me.

Don’t let the season of Lent go by, without your participation.  Get involved at Church, and watch God stretch your faith, as He also lengthens the days of spring.  I’ll see you in Church!

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Michael