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Pastor's Update 


March, 2019

Dear Members and Friends of Grace,

The cross is coming out of the garage. What cross? What garage? What does this mean? It is the big wooden cross that stands in the front of our church throughout the season of Lent. It has been hiding in the garage since it was stowed away there last Spring. Now it is coming back out, to be displayed with the dark colors of repentance and mourning draped over it. The first Wednesday in March is the starting point this year for the Lenten journey that will take us to that darkest of days, when on a Friday the Son of God was nailed to a cross and gave his life as the sacrifice for our sins.
Lent is the season when we gather on Wednesday evenings to give special attention to the cross of Christ. Oh, it’s not that the cross has been hidden from us throughout the rest of the year. Even though the big cross stayed in the garage through the summer, fall and winter, the importance of the cross of Christ has been on our minds constantly. Outside of the cross we are lost. Without the cross we would each wander this life without hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12).  But with the cross we have the peace which Jesus brought through his cross. Each day our souls are lifted by the knowledge that God counts us as his children because our sins were nailed to the cross. Each day we can turn to the brightness of a friendly face smiling on us from above, because at the cross Jesus took our sins away.
 It was in the spring that Jesus went to the cross. It is in the spring that we take special time to reflect on the impact that the cross has had on our standing with God, on our ability to rise above the problems of our lives, and on our hopes for the future.
Lent is also a time for us to look down a bit, and say, “For me, Lord. You suffered that cross for me.” But for that very reason we then lift our eyes to the Lord and say, “What joy is mine! What peace is mine! What life is mine because my Savior gave his life for me!”
As in past Lenten seasons, we will be privileged to hear messages from God’s Word presented by a different pastor each Wednesday. Each sermon will offer Three Words of Truth to help us see better the love of God that shines in the cross of Christ.
When the big cross comes out of the garage, I pray that the sight of it will awaken your heart with the grace of God and the loving sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, for you.

                     Pastor Hartwig

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