Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday and Ambitions

I'm one of those strange people who sometimes likes flowers best when the petals start to fall.

The cross of ashes I received on my forehead at this morning's chapel service reminds me that all things are destined to crumble and fade away. 

Buds unfurl, petals drop, and is there a Mind of God who remembers the moments, shakes them up, and saves them?

More than a mere "Mind of God" we Christians believe there is a Man of God who does this,  Jesus of Nazareth, in whose footsteps we travel a 40 day Lenten path, strewn with temptations, dropped petals, and huge ambitions to make a better world.

At the church I serve as a sacramental pastor, the evangelist (and day to day, week to week leader of the little parish) resigned his position and just had his last Sunday at the church.  I was invited to a scrumptious dim sum luncheon in his honor, so here's a picture of me with our kind Lutheran School principal, Principal Li, and this very devoted church worker, who will be taking some time off and then maybe pursuing some more academic studies.   I can only believe that all of his hard work with this parish will be redeemed, even though the fruits aren't readily apparent yet.

Tomorrow, church members and I are launching an 8 week pilot project at the Lutheran School, an after school Truth English Bible Club for Grade 3 kids.

First Bible story on the agenda: Jesus' Entrance into Jerusalem.  We will:
  • learn the story 
  • learn the English words: donkey, king, palm branches, coats
  • sing "We are Marching in the Light of God" and wave palm branches (probably bamboo branches, which are free since they grow in our yard)", 
  • make a palm branch craft out of green paper
  • recite half of a Bible verse:
"Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!"  -- Mark 11:9b  (NIRV)

Afterward, a yummy snack, prepared by a church member.

I am more than a bit nervous about this launch.  It's something new!  Did I tell you that I still don't speak much (ok, hardly any) Chinese??  And they don't speak much English!

May our ambitions be redeemed. May the children be blessed.  May our church blossom. May we learn to walk, these 40 days, with Jesus.

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