Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Lent 2013 Index

February 13
February 14
February 15
February 16
February 17
February 18
February 19
February 20
February 21
February 22
February 23
February 24
February 25
February 26
February 27
February 28
March 1
March 2
March 3
March 4
March 5
March 6
March 7
March 8
March 9
March 10
March 11
March 12
March 13
March 14
March 15
March 16
March 17
March 18
March 19
March 20
March 21
March 22
March 23
March 24
March 25
March 26
March 27
March 28
March 29
March 30
March 31

GROWING

One of my favorite books of all time is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I first read it when I was about 10. I totally identified with the central character, a girl named Francie.

Francie and I were about the same age. We both had handsome and witty dads who charmed everybody they met but never learned to cope with reality. And we both had moms who thought they had to do everything dad didn't or couldn't do and lost themselves in the process. As the oldest child, Francie had the weight of the world on her shoulders.

One thing that gave her joy was a tree that grew outside the window of her Brooklyn tenement. The tree was beautiful, and the birds who lived there sang her sadness away.

But some of the neighbor women hated that tree because it got tangled up with the clotheslines that stretched from building to building. Men came to chop it down and then, just for good measure, they set fire to the stump. Francie mourned the tree but endured her hardscrabble life, a life where birds no longer sang of hope and possibilities.

Spring came at last and with it came little green shoots poking up from the charred stump. Francie's tree had survived against all odds. Its roots were so deep and so strong that it was able to overcome mutilation and fire. Soon it would grow new branches, where birds would live again, singing sweet songs of hope and new possibilities.

Faith is like that. It wants to grow. Once roots are established, the seedling will struggle against all odds to become a tree. Our Lenten reflections this year are all about growing our faith - growing from the roots, growing from the branches, growing in love and hope, growing despite adversity.

This booklet is a wonderful sharing of faith. Thanks to all our writers, who bared their roots and waved their branches. These are some of the most heartfelt devotions we have ever shared. And, as always, I am especially grateful to those who planted the seeds of this devotional and nourished it to maturity: Marcia Werts, Mark Yeskie, Lori East, Debbie Stephens and our pastors Lowell and Kristin.

Dallas Cronk
Devotional team leader