I recently read something written by Karoline Lewis that intrigued me. The title was, Choose Your Lent. She went on to suggest “Your starting point matters. You can suffer through Lent. Or, you can choose to move through Lent from a place of wonder and gratitude: wondering where God might show up, what God might reveal in this dormant time, this time set aside so as to anticipate life, a time that looks forward to glimpses of the new creation.” (Internet article, Feb. 4, 2016)
Lent is the 40-day period (which excludes Sundays) of preparation for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. It’s generally a somber time of examining our lives and doing what we can to learn to live more faithfully. Many people give things up for Lent to experience in some small way solidarity with Jesus’ sacrificial death. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I think, as Karoline Lewis suggests, that our attitude in approaching this makes a difference. We can look at Lent as an opportunity to grow closer to God in Christ or we can see it as something to endure. I choose to see it as opportunity.
Our opportunity begins March 1, to come together for an Ash Wednesday worship service at 7 PM. Worship each Sunday will focus on one what Steve Harper identifies as Marks of a Methodist. These are based on a sermon John Wesley, the father of Methodism, wrote in 1742, called The Character of a Methodist. Each mark is a practice that when followed will help us live a righteous life filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
We have an opportunity to explore loving God, rejoicing in God, giving thanks, praying constantly, and loving others.
I’m excited about a new opportunity being offered on Wednesday evenings at 7 PM starting March 8. Lisa Deutsch will lead a 6-week study on Prayer (see p. 3). Also, on March 25 we will hold our first session of Aldersgate U from 9 – 11:20 AM. During that time three Discipleship Discussions will be offered. Anyone interested in joining Aldersgate should plan to attend these sessions, but everyone is welcome. See more details on p. 7. Two more sessions of Aldersgate U covering 3 additional Discipleship Discussions each will be held April 8 and April 29. If you are interested in joining the church but unable to attend these sessions, please see me and we’ll try to work something out.
Please join us for Moving Forward Saturday, March 18 from 9-11:30 AM (see p. 3). We’d like everyone to be a part of helping us discern where God is leading us as a church. What is our next ministry experiment? Our Community Dinner came out of our last meeting like this. What a blessing it has been for us and our community.
I pray you’ll choose to move through Lent with a sense of wonder and gratitude and take part in the opportunities for worship and study.