Quickly we are about to enter into Lent. Ash Wednesday, February 26, is next week. Our Ash Wednesday service will begin our 40-day journey in Lent. As with all of life it is both an inward and outward journey, a time for self-reflection and a time to take up the disciplines and actions that follow Jesus to the cross and resurrection. Although these actions, as with Jesus, will lead to the cross, they are actions of life-giving encounters and relationships with others, especially those who are in need. We follow Jesus, whose every step toward the cross was a step to heal, to feed, to welcome, to forgive those who long to be valued as God’s children.
The temptation which confronted Jesus throughout his life and ministry was the same as in the famous temptation story with the crafter of lies, “live by your privilege.” Live by your privilege at the expense of others, even at the dehumanization of others. Jesus’ ministry was marked by his willingness to give up his privilege, particularly by his care and love for any and all who suffer from prejudice, discrimination, and hatred. We are called to contemplate and actively follow this Lenten, this life, discipline. Let it be our journey these 40 days.
Our service on Ash Wednesday will begin at 7:00 PM. It will be a eucharistic service with imposition of ashes. There is no meal before the Ash Wednesday service. On the following five Wednesdays in Lent we will hold vespers services at 7:00 PM. We are planning a meal at 6:00 PM before each service. Currently the first two Wednesdays (March 4 and 11) have volunteers to prepare the meal. We need three more (March 18 and 25, April 1). Could you help us keep this tradition going? There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex. Or call the office if you can serve.
On the First Sunday in Lent there will be two services, a choral service at 8:30 AM and our first Sunday Center Celebration at 10:00 AM. The Center service will include dance movement for those so spirited, led by assisting minister and professional dance instructor, Laura Roth. There will also be a creative construction, involving the weaving of prayers and disciplines for Lent on ribbon into an art piece. So sermon time will be a creative time. Our overall theme will be one of journey in Lent that focuses, not only upon the discipline of giving something up for Lent, but upon taking something up for Lent.
May God in Christ Jesus bless your journey,
Pastor Bill Yancey
– February 19, 2020