Dear Family and Friends of St. Andrew’s,
Well Lent is upon us and the Journey Begins to Easter Morning when we encounter Jesus the Risen Lord and our eyes are opened to the Glory of God as it is revealed in our lives each day we live and move forward closer to God. But before that happens we have this Sunday with the story of the mountain top experience of the Transfiguration which leads us into the wilderness experience of the fourty days of lent.
Mountaintop experiences are part of the life of faith. There are times when we feel lifted up, taken up to a place a little closer to God and God’s glory. There are times when we feel we are hearing God speaking to us, telling us things, giving us direction, comfort, joy. These times, alas, do not come often, no matter how much we long for them. We live our lives mostly down here on the ground, unaware of the wondrous, transformative power of God at work in the world, especially in the life of the church.
There’s work to be done, and Peter’s mind is on glory, not suffering and loss. So Jesus tells Peter, James, and John to keep quiet about what’s happened, until they get the whole story, the big picture that includes suffering, death, and resurrection. This is where we are going when we come down from our mountain top experience and enter into Lent this Ash Wednesday. In our own life we reflect this reality of suffering , death and resurection as these elements are critical to life and its ongoing cycle. Suffering and death lead to renewal and resurrection and rebirth.
Peter and the others have high expectations for the Messiah, and suffering and death aren’t on the list. Mountaintop experiences are, but not the kind on a cross on a hill.

They want to see booths raised, not a cross. Things aren’t fitting together for them: the expectations, the glimpses they’re getting of the reign of God, and this talk of Jesus about suffering and death and, most perplexingly, his resurrection. They can’t get their minds wrapped around it all.

Lent is a time when we have the opportunity to wrap our minds around these things and have our aha moment when suddenly these things begin to make sense.
I have two suggestions for this lent. Last year the program was based online with Dynamic Catholic “The Best Lent Ever” series which you may download and follow daily again this Lent . The other is the book “Jesus Before Christianity” by Albert Nolan. This Book has been described as “The most accurate and balanced short reconstruction of the life of the historical Jesus.” I recommend either or both of these to help you focus on your Lenten Journey. They may both be downloaded online just go to Dynamic Catholic for the Best Lent Ever Series or Amazon.com to order “Jesus before Christianity” either hard cover or Kindle. You may also download it through “Maryknoll” in PDF format.
I am still considering what shape the Lenten Program should take this year with the building work taking place in the Church. It may not be desirable to meet on Wednesday nights. If any of you have any suggestions I would like to hear them. Perhaps we could meet before Church informally to have a discussion on our readings and reflections as we move through Lent.
Ashes will be imposed on the First Sunday of Lent and this Sunday the preacher is Andrew Wyngate who many of you know. He has taken services here in the past.
With Best Wishes for a blessed Lententide.
David Bruce, Chaplain
Dear Family and Friends of St. Andrew´s,
One of the things I like about Christmas in Gothenburg is how before the 24th things become so quiet. Stores shut down and the streets have few people on them. Christmas is indeed a family holiday and the activity becomes concentrated in home as preparations are made. Very unlike where I come from where one is inundated with ads like Midnight Madness sales prompting to get that special gift at a drastically marked down price. Here the pre-Christmas hush brings on a sense of quiet expectation as we wait for him to be born in this world.

There are still things to be done I am sure but first I would like to thank all those who did so much to make the Service of Lessons and Carols so special Sunday night. The Church was full and I was greeted by many smiling faces as people left while I stood outside shaking hands.
Please invite your friends who may not have a place to go for church at this time and reach out to those in need or who are lonely. This time of year brings out so many emotions both Joyous and Sad. So reach out to others as God in Jesus comes to us and offers his hand to lead us on the way into the New Year.
With every Blessing,
David Bruce, Chaplain