Dear Dyersburg FUMC Church Family, 

It’s hard to believe that we are nearly halfway through this season of Lent. As we continue through the book of John in the next several weeks, we will be meeting some of John’s most intriguing characters: the woman who meets Jesus at Jacob’s well (John 4:5-42), the man who was born blind (John 9: 1-41), and Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead (John 11: 1-45).

I encourage you to read these stories in preparation for worship each Sunday and consider these questions: 1) Where in this story do you see wilderness? Who in this story finds themselves in the wilderness? 2) Where do you see yourself in this story? 3) How is the wilderness in the story similar to wilderness that you have experienced in the past or are experiencing now? 

Wilderness can be frightening, but we also learn from our Christian story that God does important things in us and for us when we are in the wilderness. God forms us and transforms us. God prepares us for what comes next in our lives. God speaks to us in new ways, and in the wilderness we can often listen in new ways. What are the wilderness stories in your life? How can you bear witness to the ways God has formed you and transformed you in the wilderness? 

My prayer for us in these next few weeks of Lent is that we will learn not to fear the wilderness in our lives—in our personal lives, our congregational life, and even our denominational life—but to look in the midst of wilderness for the new thing that God is doing in us and with us. 

Praying that you continue to have a Holy Lent, Mary Beth