Everyone is ready for spring! Of course the Red Sox have reported – – to Florida!
March 5th begins the 40 day Journey known throughout much of Church history as Lent. It could be called the Christian disciple’s “Spring Training!” (Lent means “spring”) It’s getting ourselves more fit and strong and disciplined for the “regular season” of following Jesus. This journey is an invitation to prepare ourselves to experience The Great Story of the passion, cross, and resurrection of Christ through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting, and acts of compassion. (Matthew 6:1-18)
NOTE: if you are new to, or have a bad image of “Lent,” I’d encourage you to read my post, “Rediscovering and Unstereotyping Lent.”
During this season I will be blogging daily from a wonderful book of readings I’m working through called God For Us. Our Sunday sermons will cover the second half of Mark’s Gospel (chpts 9-16) We’re calling the series, “What is God Up To?”
It all starts this year on Wednesday, March 5th. We encourage everyone to join at the church, 7-8 pm for a family service marking the beginning of Lent. A brief 30 min. service will also be offered at 7 am at church.
Especially in this season I always recommend that we daily pray the 4th Century Lenten Prayer of Ephrem the Syrian. You may want to incorporate this into your prayer time each day along with the Lord’s Prayer and some of the Psalms. Meditate on it as a check of what to put off and repent of – and what to put on by the Spirit’s help. (You can link here to a previous post that includes a wonderful commentary on the prayer.)
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of acedia and apathy,
dispondency, ambition, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of purity and wholeness,
humility, patience, and love to Your servant.
O Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors
and not to judge my brother or sister;
For You are blessed forever, to ages of ages. Amen!