SteveBenz2Greetings to all my presbytery friends,

As we approach the end of Lent, as we celebrated the triumphal entry, as we approach the cross and the grave, and the empty tomb, I pray that we will all find the peace of God that Christ exhibited to the world as he approached all of those things. One of my favorite parts of the journey that Christ took in those final days is the story of the widow’s mite. At the very beginning of the passage in Mark it states that “Jesus sat down opposite the Temple.” Jesus had a point to make and even in the midst of all that was going on in this last week of his life, he took the time to sit and watch and reflect. In all of the busyness, I pray for you all some time to sit and watch and reflect on how we are to be the Church that Jesus left us.

I preached two sermons a few years back on days that I am not normally called upon to preach as an Executive Presbyter. For whatever reason I was asked to preach at Church A on Palm Sunday and at Church B on the Day of Pentecost. Since I knew both engagements well ahead, I found myself pulled toward both passages of scripture at the same time and found that a fascinating exercise. What I was led to preach was that Palm Sunday was not only the beginning of Holy Week and the journey to the cross, but it was also the beginning of the journey to Pentecost and the birth of the Church. And that makes so much sense. The cross was a milestone, the empty tomb was a milestone, Jesus ascension was a milestone, and then the Day of Pentecost was the next milestone on the journey of God’s people.

I pray that as you did on Sunday, and all of this week, you will keep waving the palm branches and singing Hosanna, knowing that the journey to the cross has begun, that the journey to Pentecost has begun, and that that journey continues to this day because we are the St. Augustine Presbytery branch of the Church of Jesus Christ in the world. I remain humbled to be taking that journey alongside you all.

Peace and grace

Steve