It is that time of the year again! Depressing, somber, dreary Lent. A time of self denial, self discipline, and frankly some very dark themes and stories in church. At least that often seems to be Lent’s reputation.
The thing is, the way we celebrate Lent can be so different than that. Oh make no mistake, there is a lot of darkness that I would never want to avoid. We all know that our deepest wisdom comes from our struggles, as do our greatest inspirations to continue being people who change the world. If Jesus was anything, he was someone who sought to change the world for the better.
But we also think of Lent as a walk, a journey, a strengthening of our spiritual path. We nurture love, of others and of self. We create holy space wherein a person can explore their truth, their sense of thankfulness, or pain, questions, or insights.
There are as many kinds of journeys through Lent as there are people! For some, it has been about giving up something that helps us simplify life in order that we may focus on things that matter, such as love, family, and faith. For others, it has been about taking up something that makes a difference in the community, or to one person. For some it has been about committing to a spiritual quest, to feel closer to God, each other, and to the earth.
Throughout Lent we will take time at St. Andrew’s each Wednesday night at 7pm to share the very beautiful, heartfelt, calming and peaceful service of Compline. It’s all about settling into the night with a sense of giving God what our day has been, our thoughts and worries for those we love, our hope that we have been compassionate to all whom God brought to us this day, shown us this day … and to take our rest with a peaceful mind.
Holy Week is coming too, and Easter. There will be another letter sent out to everyone as Easter draws near. But for now, I want to invite you to celebrate Lent with us. Most of it will be a journey you take in your own special way. I also hope that some of that will include coming together at St. Andrew’s on Sundays (9am traditional worship & 10:30am contemporary worship) and Wednesdays (7pm)to share the journey as a community. Bring your love, your wisdom, your fears, your uncertainties. Do come – for yourself, and for each other.
The Rev’d Mark Pretty