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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Dear Friends,

It’s almost Easter. . . or is it?  The calendar might say, “Easter,” but our hearts are still in Lent, praying and waiting for this siege to lift.

We will celebrate Easter soon — we hope in May.   On that coming Sunday we will have recovered from the nation’s pandemic.  But will we have recovered from  the number one sickness of the church – its chronic judgmentalism?  Poll after poll show that people give up on attending church because they feel quietly judged by others – subtly demeaned and dismissed by others because of their struggles and circumstances.

This Sunday we continue our sermon series on Romans and come to the topic of judgmentalism.  But we’ll also think about Easter.  Romans 14 reminds us that the only one who has the love and wisdom to judge us rightly is Jesus Christ, the Resurrected.  He dwells among us, a living Lord, and judges us with mercy.  His deeply personal judgment helps us change and live out our potential.

Our very extended Lent give us time to banish from our hearts the shadow of judgmentalism.   We can prepare to be the church our world needs, especially this year.  On that coming Easter we’ll welcome  people who have been bruised and shaken by financial losses, deaths of loved ones, new anxieties.

Now, in this Long Lent, God gives us time to prepare our hearts and church to welcome them all — without judgmentalism.