From the Pastor’s Desk…
During Lent the people of God will reflect on the meaning of their baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. The sign of ashes suggests our human mortality and frailty. What seems like an ending is really an invitation to make each day a new beginning, in which we are washed in God’s mercy and forgiveness. With the cross on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the springtime Easter feast to come. Sundays and Seasons 2019
As we now move from Epiphany into the Lenten Season, the cross of Ash is a reminder not only of our mortality, but a reminder of how we are loved unconditionally through God’s tender mercies. We may return to dust, but as we live, we are called beloved by our maker. In this abundant gracefulness, how do we respond?
We are invited to “return” – to return to the God who loves us is our response th
rough prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer is our connection and conversation with our Creator. It can be an intimate conversation rather than a superficial one asking for the perfect parking place. Prayer is the conduit that has the capacity to change our hearts for the good of the world, releasing our selfishness and becoming selfless.
Fasting is another spiritual practice of the season. What do we fast from? It’s common for us to “give up” something that we love such as chocolate, desserts or red meat. What if we fast from judgmental thoughts about others, or fast from gossip and spreading rumors? What would it look like if we “fasted” or refrained from holding grudges? Fasting can be us turning away from behaviors that are harmful to ourselves and others. Knowing that God never turns from us, we are reminded to be more like the One who made us. To be kind and merciful.
Finally, almsgiving is an outward spiritual practice. Sharing with others from our own abundant blessing is what our loving Lord expects from us. Fearful hording of what we have holds us captive from growing in the spiritual practices of Lent. We have 40 Days of Giving. Consider setting aside every day something from your own abundance to share with others.