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Pastor Andrew Hinderlie

Pastor’s Pondering for February 2024 and March 2024


“Lent, Palm Sunday, and Holy Week shall be retained,” wrote Luther, “not to force anyone to fast, but to preserve the Passion history and the Gospels appointed for that season” (Luther's Works, 53:90).


Some thoughts to ponder. February is a month of love, parties and repentance:  Valentines Day, Mardi Gras and Lent.  Two of these are events that many would love as they involve indulging in food and but when it comes to Lent?  My father once said that New Orleans understood celebration sometimes to excess which was Mardi Gras, and Repentance: Ash Wednesday and Lent.  Lent is the time in the church year when we focus on repentance, on baptism and Christ’s life, death and resurrection as we walk with Jesus to Jerusalem, Golgotha and the cross.

In recent years Lent and the Lenten Wednesday services have not had the draw for churches of any denomination that it had when I was growing up, not even Ash Wednesday. I wonder if we do not wish to rush through this time to get to Easter and yet we have Easter already, every Sunday.  Perhaps it has to do with the thought of giving something back.

Instead of the traditional idea of giving up something for Lent we at Trinity are encouraging everyone to give something.  

The words of Robert Herrick, a 17th century poet, in his poem “To Keep a True Lent”, he provided his own thoughts of what Lent means:

“Is this a Fast, to keep the larder lean?  And clean from fat of veals and sheep?  Is it to quit the dish of flesh, yet still To fill the platter high with fish? Is it to fast an hour, Or ragg’d to go Or show A down-cast look and sour?  No: ‘this a Fast to dole Thy sheaf of wheat And meat with the hungry soul.  It is to fast from strife And old debate, /and hate; /to circumcise thy life. To show a heart grief-rent; To starve thy sin, Not bin; And that’s to keep thy Lent.” 

During our Wednesday evening of Lenten Soup/Bread meals and service we will be using the video series called: The Power of Forgiveness.  If you have never seen this it’s an incredible witness to those who have suffered immeasurably and yet have forgiven those who have caused them suffering.  If you have seen it, perhaps it won’t hurt coming again this year as we will be together watching with discussion about the video and how it  might impact our lives and our own understanding of God’s forgiveness for us in our lives and therefore forgiveness for others. We hope you’ll join us.

Pastor’s pondering for March 2024


“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

― Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”


I won’t deny these types of verses trouble me as I ponder this cost. In a world that has so much division and conflicting opinions and ideas of what Christianity means many of us struggle to wonder where does my Christian faith fit in and do I see myself as a disciple? And what does that really mean?

During Lent I read a devotional my mother gave Barbara and me, “Bread and Wine-Readings for Lent and Easter” published by Plough Publications. It provides 72 different essays or writings by followers of Jesus including the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard who wrote, “It is well known that Christ consistently used the expression “follower.” He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching but followers of a life Christ is looking for.”  So in good Lutheran tradition I ask myself once more, What does this mean?

In order to get to Easter which gives us the promise of forgiveness and our salvation, I need this time in Lent to understand what Jesus did go through for me. It’s not about what I do but what Jesus does for me.

In his book The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ.” It’s what Christ offers us.  And in becoming a disciple we understand Jesus doesn’t call us to greatness but to servanthood putting our neighbors above ourselves even at great risk in the great commandment to love them as ourselves, enemy and friend alike.  In this time of Lent, Holy Week and Easter may we hear Jesus call to us once more to take up our cross and follow him.

“And if we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us? What decisions and partings will it demand? To answer this question, we shall have to go to him, for only he knows the answer. Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow him, knows the journey’s end. But we do know that it will be a road of boundless mercy. Discipleship means joy.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship.  

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