I pray this will be more than obvious to all of you who read this February note. It will be very strange to be away from all of you as I recuperate from my January 20th back surgery. Please know in advance that I truly appreciate and embrace all of your prayers of healing for me during, after surgery in the hospital and recuperating at home, as well as for Susan (for patience with this patient and full-time dog duties with Axel-ha ha). In truth, the reality of trusting in God's healing grace and love in Jesus, the Great Healer and Savior, never is more real than when you're the person being operated upon. So, thank you, thank you in advance for your daily prayers throughout.
Secondly, special thanks and deepest appreciation to Pastor Dean Beckwith, for his service, humor and willingness to cover for me during these weeks of recovery ahead. God willing, with the blessings of anticipated healing and recovery, I hope to be able to return to lead worship either on Ash Wednesday, February 26th or Sunday, March 1st, following my post-surgery four week appointment with the surgeon.
I will miss the journey with all of you through these final weeks of Sundays after Epiphany. Sustaining this Epiphany Season vision of Jesus as the Light of the World, I could find no better way to invite one and all through these Sundays of February, quoting from the worship resource Sundays and Seasons: "We who have walked in darkness have seen a great light. We see the light most profoundly in the cross - as God suffers with us and all who are oppressed by sickness, sin or evil. Light dawns on us as we gather around the word, the font, and the holy table. We are then sent to share the good news that others may be caught in the net of God's grace and mercy."
Already, I am looking forward in returning to Immanuel, to continue our walk of faith together at Immanuel. I will be especially delighted to have this time of healing and renewal behind me when I return. I will still have weeks before I am fully recovered, but with God's healing and help, will try to take it a day at a time.
God's peace and blessings throughout these Epiphany days, trusting always in the God who loves us forever in Jesus, crucified, risen,with every one of us now and forever.