Lent 2013: Fifth Sunday

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You are receiving a second attempt at my Lenten writing. My first effort got trashed after my sons told me it sounded too 'churchy'. It's hard for me not to sound 'churchy' when I have spent nearly 50 years immersed in it...but I will try. Through the years I have witnessed amazing and wonderful things as a part of God's family, but also a lot of hurtful and damaging things. It can leave a person jaded, skeptical, and tired of the same old same old. That's why I picked this passage in Isaiah to write about. "Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past."  I need that constant reminder to put the past behind me and look with child-like eyes to see what the Lord is doing today. I choose to lay down the baggage of my own church history and I lift up my eyes…with hope....with faith....with anticipation. "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"

We serve the same God who made a way through the sea for the Israelites. Is anything too difficult for our God?The Lord says, "I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland." I believe that God wants to do that in Vancouver for all the broken and hurting people and He wants to use us!  Do I have the faith to believe that…still…again....after all this time? I look for and forward to the 'new thing' that God is doing in my life and here at Church at the Hollywood. We have been "Doing the Stuff"  for the last number of weeks on Wednesday and Thursday nights. I admit that when I first heard about this idea at the leadership meeting last December, I was extremely reticent…here we go again…more of the same….more potential damage. Been there, done that and didn't like it! But there is always an ember at the core of my being that sparks at the possibility of seeing God move in a fresh way in me, in our church, in our neighbourhood and in our city. I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned 'stuff' from the excellent and practical teaching provided by Pastors Tim and Mike. They have fostered a safe and healthy environment for us to learn and grow. We even took it to the streets last week and that was invigorating.  If you haven't been out yet, I encourage you to come and join us on Wednesday or Thursday nights. The Lord calls all who are thirsty and says, "I will give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise."

- Monica Cousens