One of my favorite hymns of the church is called “Gather Us In.” The words to the first verse read, “Here in this place, the new light is streaming, shadowsof doubt are vanished away. See in this space our fears and our dreamings, brought here to you in the light of this day. Gather us in, the lost and forsaken; gather us in; our spirits inflame. Call to us now, and we shall awaken; we shall arise at the sound of our name.”

These words resonate not only with my ears, but with my experience and my soul. It is God who gathers us here: God who is so intimately present when I am with others of faith. It is God who is light and shadow, in times lost and in times of found. And ultimately, it is God who is closer than my breathing, God who knows me better than myself who calls out our names.

Next week we close out the Season following Epiphany and move into a time more somber, more self-reflective, aware of life’s shadows and with them, our doubts. On Wednesday, Feb. 18 we will gather for a time of fellowship, snacks and drink at 5:30 p.m. in the Hub. Please join your friends and meet young college friends in this special time of marking the seasonal church calendar. Then at 6:30 p.m. we’ll have a time of worship in our sacred space, gathering in the sanctuary for the imposition of ashes and receiving of the Lord’s Supper. The service, as the Lenten Season, will focus on our personal brokenness and that of our world as we begin the journey to Christ’s cross.

May God continue to gather us in, naming us, and using us as witness to his love and justice in the world. Hope to see you this Sunday.

Pastor Mark