As disciples of Jesus, we are called to a discipline that contends against evil and resists whatever leads us away from love of God and neighbour. I invite you, therefore, to the discipline of Lent – selfexamination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love – strengthened by the gifts of Word and Sacrament. Let us continue our journey through these forty days to the great Three Days of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
(From the “Invitation to Lent” in the Ash Wednesday service, Evangelical Lutheran Worship)
The season of Lent is upon us. The traditional disciplines of Lent help to prepare us to hear once again the proclamation of Jesus’ hideous death. We don’t dare to saunter up to the cross and gaze dully on the form of our dying Beloved. We take time to prepare to hear of that event, and the events that led up to it.
We will include the Order for Confession at each worship service in Lent. There will be no announcement of forgiveness until Maundy Thursday. This practice will help us enter more fully into self-examination and repentance.
We will offer Holy Communion each week. As we kneel at the altar, we might focus on our sinfulness and receive strength for our continued journey in faith.
On Sunday morning, worshipers will have the opportunity to take a prayer stone. You may hold it in your hand as you focus on a challenge to your discipleship, a struggle, a grief or sorrow, or a person for whom you’re concerned. You may place the stone in the baptismal font before worship, at the time of the prayers of intercession, or as you come for communion.
Holden Evening Prayer will be offered each Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. You might choose to join us for a simple supper at 6:00 p.m. before worship.
Children of the congregation will receive a jar on the First Sunday in Lent. They are invited to collect a quarter or a dime each day in Lent. The jars can be returned on Easter Sunday. The amount received will be forwarded to Canadian Lutheran World Relief. I hope that this exercise in almsgiving will be meaningful to the children and their families.
Each one of us is encouraged to expand our commitment to repentance, prayer and almsgiving in our personal lives. Each of us has opportunities to take the season seriously. When we do, the narrative of the Passion and resurrection of Jesus will impact us ever more deeply, and we will find ourselves another step along the road to becoming the faithful people we were created to be.
In Peace, Pastor Marty