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“Observing a Holy Lent”

“Observing a Holy Lent”

 

This past Sunday I pointed out how every year the Transfiguration of Jesus is our gateway into Lent. In the life of Jesus, it is the turning point where he begins his journey toward Jerusalem, toward his crucifixion. In our lives, it is to be a turning point as well--40 days dedicated to turning away from the other voices that disturb, distract, and tempt us, to listen to the voice of Jesus as we remember our deep need for him.

 

In the Anglican Way, we’re given clear guidance for how we can walk with Jesus during Lent and hear him speaking to us. On Ash Wednesday, this ancient invitation is extended: “I invite you…in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And to make a right beginning, let us now pray for grace, that we may faithfully keep this Lent.”

 

I encourage you to review the Lenten Guide (available on our website), and ask the Spirit to guide you into one or more practices that will help you “faithfully keep this Lent.”  Also, be sure to attend the Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, and Compline gatherings that will begin the week of February 18. Details for these services, and the upcoming Holy Week services, are also available on the website.

 

Within our Sunday liturgy, you’ll encounter reorienting changes as well. Colors change to purple, the music moves toward more somber reflection, and different words in various prayers and responses are spoken. I’ve also introduced a new section immediately following the sermon called “The Listening”: two minutes of silence to listen to the voice of Jesus. During that silence, simply ask, “Jesus, what do you want me to remember this week? How are you inviting me to respond?” Pay attention to what emerges – a thought from the sermon, a scripture, a line from a song or liturgy, a nudge to talk to someone or make a change in your life. Then write it down, take it with you, and revisit it throughout the week…returning to what Jesus has spoken to you.

 

May this Lent be a turning point in your life, turning from the other voices that disturb, distract, and tempt you, to listen to the voice of Jesus.

 

Your Pastor in Christ,


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