“In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth” Ephesians 1:7-10
Hundreds of years ago God, being master of all life, caused a small acorn to sprout on the edge of what would someday be Ron Pinyan’s property just west of Crown. Over the centuries that small sprout grew from a sapling to a large and beautiful oak. In time this mighty oak’s reign was caused to come to an end and after a windstorm it laid uprooted. As the tree was resting, Ron Pinyan called Leon Bray to come and make it into firewood. Leon saw the tree and noted the quality of the wood, the beauty of the red oak, and as they were cutting, saved a 12-foot log, had it milled into beams, and stored it. Around the same time our Church decided that it needed to extend and replace its communion rail. They called upon a gifted carpenter of our congregation to work the task and
he used Leon’s oak beams to fashion our current communion rail. Now 25 years later we have the need to extend our rail and after all these years, what’s left of those same oak beams that grew just west of Crown will be used to fashion the extension. The same oak from the same beam from the same tree will all be used to bless our Worship.
So why am I telling you all this? Well it is quite simple. When it is all said and done, it is just a tree and some wood, but what the wood is used for is magnificent. You will lean up against this wood and rest upon it as we kneel before our King and Savior. We eat His body and drink His blood while kneeling at the railing. The body and blood of our Lord may even crumble, splash, and dribble upon this wood. Most importantly repentant sinners will be forgiven. I say all this because this month we are entering into the season of Lent. A season set aside for God’s people to contemplate the abundant and urgent need for forgiveness. For us to examine our sinfulness, and to hear tell the story of what our Lord has done to take away our sin.
It was with two simple pieces of wood, from a different tree, hastily placed together, not expertly planed and milled, rugged and jagged. It was upon that wooden cross that our sins have been forgiven. It was upon that wooden cross the cost of our failure to obey and love God and neighbor was paid in full. It was on that wooden cross that the body of our Lord was placed and His blood was spilled. As we enter into Lent we remember the hymn verse,
“When I survey the wondrous cross On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss And pour contempt on all my pride.”