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March Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As we enter the third month of the new year, we need to be aware that we have lived through a historic year. As we continue into this year with the concerns and difficulties of the past year, let us be clear that we will continue to get by, that we will continue to overcome, only with the grace of the Almighty God.

In the twelfth month of the pandemic, it is fair to say that many have reacted in a manner that has been difficult. The pandemic and the election have fractured many relationships and hurt many people.

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When we began the lock downs and faced the unknown of the COVID crisis, the focus was on doing this together, of facing the current crisis as a United States. However, now we have forgotten what it means to love one another. We are called to a higher way of living. Jesus put it this way, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy’ but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven.”
We are called to radical love. So often we fall short, but this is our standard by which we are to be striving. Never are we to use the tools of the world in order to bring about the ways of the kingdom. Revenge and hate and division are not our ways. We are to combat such actions with forgiveness and understanding. We need to remember that all of us are a work in progress so we need to show grace.
Mother Teresa put it this way, “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”
Is this easy? By no means! But it is well worth it. When we practice the ways of Jesus, we benefit greatly. If you are wondering where you find such great methods of living, Jesus outlined them in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.
May we realize that we are responsible for our own actions and that we are to speak life into another. We do so with prayer and calls and cards and with deep affection. When we do this, we demonstrate that we are grounded in grace, living in love and growing for God here at St. Andrew.

Your faithful servant, Pastor Mark