Thursday, February 24, 2011

Looking Ahead to Lent

A Long Wait for Lent – Have you noticed that Easter comes late this year? April 24 is the date, which means the beginning of Lent, “Ash Wednesday” arrives on March 9. Perhaps only pastors and church musicians and liturgists notice the long season of “Epiphany” that occurs when Easter comes late.

The long pre-Lenten season has been a gift for me on two fronts. First, we didn’t jump from Christmas to Lent in only a few days as we do some years. This gives space to recover from one busy religious season before the next intense one begins. The other gift is the Lectionary we follow for our Sunday morning scripture readings engages more texts from Jesus’ teaching sermons when Lent and Easter come later in the year. One of the bloggers I follow noted that parts of the Sermon on the Mount, specifically, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Hasn’t ‘shown up’ in 10 years because Easter has been “coming early”. It is a gift to hear more of Jesus’ words at any time of the year.

This month we do finally get to the 40-day period before Easter; March 9 is the first day of Lent.

I invite you to come to the Taizé Worship Service at 7 p.m. that evening for prayer, song, and contemplation by candlelight. If your Lenten custom includes the imposition of ashes, they will be available following the worship service. I hope you will consider a “Lenten Discipline” during this 40-day period to enhance your spiritual journey. You will hear suggestions each Sunday morning. I trust that one will ‘call’ to your spirit to follow.

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