1) Forty Days. Six weeks.
2) A time to wander through the wilderness.
3) A time to explore your faith.
4) A time to get through until Easter arrives.
However you think about it, there is no stopping the reality that Lent is upon us, rather later than it usually is. Never feels much like after Christmas, when we have a few weeks to prepare ourselves (with shopping; feasting; decorating; etc.) For the six weeks as we approach Lent many are unclear about what preparations we should be making. Easter can arrive almost as though it has crept up on us. It can be a bit disconcerting, when Lent is just HERE. I know that there are many of you out there who don’t much care for Lent. It feels depressing. It feels like a punishment. It feels hopeless. It feels like something you just have to get through. This year though, as we journey through the season, I’m hoping you view Lent a little bit differently, and hopefully because of that, we all might grow a bit, individually and as a community, and maybe by the end we’ll feel a little bit better about Lent.
At its heart, Lent is a journey. It is a path that we step onto that leads to the cross and leads to the empty tomb. Along the way, there are hills and valleys, stones to stumble upon, and smooth paths to tread over with confidence; and hopefully along the way, there are moments of clarity where our faith seems a little bit clearer, even though there will also be moments where it seems foggy and uncertain. As with all journeys though, Lent is easier when traveled together. Our focus as a congregation for Lent this year is on a number of things: a ‘cross-nail’ to carry that you received on Ash Wednesday; regular Chapel services on Wednesdays at 5:45 P.M. to experience fine music and quiet time of prayer and scripture; bible studies on Sunday mornings at 9:30 A.M. in Room 8 and also on Monday evenings at 6:30 P.M. in the Covenant House; a ‘popsicle stick’ cross that grows in size with each prayer concern we offer; and of course, Sunday morning worship where the Wilderness experiences of our lives is explored. In all things we lift our hearts in prayer and thanksgiving, as we celebrate this Lenten journey together. Oh yes! . . . and there’s Palm Sunday worship on April 14 and Maundy Thursday Lord’s Supper at 7:00 P.M. on April 18, all before a Happy Easter morning on April 21.