“I invite you to a Holy Lent”
These words, from the invitation on Ash Wednesday, invite all of us into this peculiar season of the church year. Some of you are thinking “Lent already?” Others “Should I give up coffee or chocolate?” and others are thinking “What even IS Lent?” All good questions to be sure — but Lent is much more than giving something up or taking something on or a time to "be sad." Lent is a season of preparation, a season to prepare us to celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. And for our eventual resurrection in the last days.
For some that may mean a season of fasting and repentance for our individual and collective sins and trespasses. For others it may mean a slow walk back to church and to faith after a time away. And for some it may mean a time of celebration and rejoicing because the Kingdom of God is finally coming near. Lent is expressed very differently in different communities — depending on their own history, collective experience, and future path.
I invite you to reflect a bit on your own ,journey of faith. If Jesus were to come back tomorrow what would change in your life? Would you be called to repentance? To deeper prayer? To celebrate? To exercise more? This is a deeply personal question — and one that you may want to spend some time with. Perhaps your journey begins at a simpler place. What does it mean to be "resurrected"? What do I believe about Jesus?
These are good and faithful questions, worth exploring this Lent. Deacon Vaughn and our intern Bruno will be working through many of these issues during Liturgy and Living, and we will shortly be announcing an adult "seekers" class for those who would like to spend a little more time discovering (or rediscovering) their faith this season.
However you chose to mark this Lent, I hope you will find some time to move beyond physical acts of self-sacrifice, and move a little deeper into the spiritual and theological realm of "What do I believe?" and "What does that mean?"
Welcome to Lent.