From the Pastor

I am exceedingly perturbed with Jessica.

She is that pert and perky voice on the other end of the robocall that greets me as if we’ve been fast friends.

“Hi, how are you….” she says.

She then goes on to try to sell me a home security system, or siding, or windows, or healthcare, or servicing on my student loan, or in a much more subdued tone assures me that there is “nothing wrong with your credit at this time, but you may be missing out on lower rates…”

So, I am perturbed with Jessica.

She calls, and I hear her voice. I shrug and vocalize in an exasperated tone that she will never hear.

She is hoping that I will listen all the way through her spiel and then press a number routing my interest to someone else standing by to help me.

I go to my call blocker and register the number to make sure that she doesn’t call me again.

Less than an hour, (sometimes in mere minutes!) there she is again, spoofing another number as the origin so that my call blocker ends up being foiled, coming at me from another direction, hoping to get me this time.

I am perturbed, but she is unperturbed.

She will call again and again, with the same offer, the same perky tone, the same assurance that “there is nothing wrong, but that I may be missing out…”

I’m growing a little weary of her pert and perky disposition.

Now, this is a precarious comparison to make, I know, but I wonder if we haven’t adopted somewhat the same attitude toward God?

Here God comes again, with that same pert and perky assurance that God forgives and that Grace is freely given, and that everyone is loved and lovable.

We get a little weary of God’s perky disposition in this regard.

We assume that God is like any other snake-oil purveyor. It’s got to be too good to be true.

There has to be a catch somewhere.

We adopt the same skepticism toward God that we do toward Jessica with her all too pleasant voice.

Lent is upon us, and we are about to hear it all over again. The story of Jesus walking toward Jerusalem. We will hear again about the events of the upper room, the washing of feet, the betrayal, the abandoning as the Disciples scatter and the faithfulness as the women watch and wait.

We’ll watch the events of trial and crucifixion play out, hear the seven last phrases, be reminding of the sky turning dark, the earth rumbling, all of creation mourning.

We’ll hear the Centurion proclaim Jesus “Surely this was a son of God.”

We will come through to the other side to be reminded of Resurrection.

Like Jessica’s spiel, it will all be predictable by now to those of us who have heard it all before. It may even be slightly perturbing to have to go through it all again, and to hear a promise that is just too good to be true.

I am sometimes Lent perturbed by Lent.

But God, (like Jessica,) appears to be unperturbed and unperturbable.

God will make the pitch again, as God has through the centuries, in fervent hope that maybe this time, I will connect with it.

Pastor Merle.