This month we begin our yearly journey through Lent. As I was beginning to prepare for the season, I started to think, maybe Lent is, or could be, a kind of Spiritual New Year. It begins on Ash Wednesday with a serious and honest assessment of where we are in our relationship with God. We can be honest in our assessment because we know God’s unfailing love and mercy. We allow our confession to move us toward repentance…a turning away from things that separate us from God’s love and rededicate ourselves to following Jesus.
Then, as on New Year’s we make some resolutions. Lent asks us to commit to new disciplines of prayer and service to others to bring us closer in our relationship with God. But, as with New Year’s resolutions, in the busy-ness of our lives, sometimes the disciplines we commit to at the start of the season fade away quickly. Here is the place where being part of a faith community is so important. During this season we are not on the journey alone. We gather, in worship, study and fellowship offering encouragement to one another. Keeping one another focused in our journey with and to Christ!
We receive an invitation to Lenten discipline at Ash Wednesday service. To assist us in living that discipline we are also invited to make space in our schedules to take part in a Sunday morning study of how and why we worship as we do, and a Wednesday Evening dinner church reflecting on the symbols the church uses through this sacred season. These opportunities for study and fellowship build us up as Christ’s body in this season and throughout the year.
Together, we will make this a meaningful season that will strengthen us in our life in Christ.
Let’s begin a New Year in Spirit and faith.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.