top of page
Search

A Strange Way to Say I Love You

I would agree if it seems  time keeps getting away from us. Sometimes, it feels as if I am still catching my breath from all things Christmas and New Year, and here we are about to roll into the season of Lent. 


It helps that I find Lent to be a particularly restorative season. I know it can be cast as a time of melancholy thinking, doing without, and dark days. The weeks leading to Easter present a unique time span in the Christian year's calendar. I see Lent as a gift. It is a time to take a step back and reflect on my relationship with God, my walk with Christ, and my readiness to pay attention to the nudges of the Holy Spirit. Rather than pushing me from the rush of the holidays into an expectation of making New Year resolutions, Lent provides a time to slow down, have some meandering conversations with God, and listen with an open heart. 


Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14. You will likely see some creative and dismal attempts to merge Valentine's Day's images and language with Ash Wednesday. It's not hard to see a link. Think of the words of the hymn, "What Wondrous Love is This," and the Gospel reading that begins, "What greater love is this?" 


Grace UMC will enter Lent following the disciple Peter and his relationship with Jesus. With the theme of "Wandering Heart," we will consider how much we are like Peter; at times, both steadfast and wobbling, a friend, a betrayer, a follower, and a wanderer. We will have the chance to learn from Jesus, as Peter did, all that he has to teach us through his ministry and his journey to the cross as we consider the many stages of our faith. 


Devotional guides will be available at church on February 11. Contact the church office to request one sent by mail. We'll share reflections to guide our wandering hearts in social media and email. 


I'll offer a time to discuss each week's scripture and message between morning worship services throughout Lent. We'll meet from 10:10 to 10:45 in the parlor.


I invite you to begin your journey through Lent with an Ash Wednesday service on February 14 at 6:30. Mark your calendars now for a Maundy Thursday experience on March 29, an indoor prayer walk during the day on Good Friday, March 30, and a beautiful service of Tenebrae (a service of darkness) that same evening, led by our chancel choir in the sanctuary. 


I don't think there is one way to "do" Lent. You may find what you need by sharing in the practice of giving up something. An alternative is to consider "taking on" something or embracing a practice of study, prayer, or service. Lent is a beautiful season that offers to strengthen our understanding of the Gospel story and let it shape our lives for the better. 


May each of us experience a Holy Lent. 


Peace, 

Pastor Linda 

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Creating Margins

Greetings, A dear friend once described me as “tenacious,” I think there was both compliment and critique in their words. I don’t let go quickly, especially when I have left something undone. Case in

Fact or Context?

Which is more important? Facts or context? It's easy to answer  "both." But how often do we focus on what we can see and think we know? Are we even willing to try to understand the backstory? I recent

I Heard the Bells

December 18, 2023 As the bell choir played, the words to the song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” were projected on the sanctuary screens. The choir director wanted the congregation to be able to

bottom of page