A Word From Pastor Steven on Lent
This week we begin the Season of Lent. It is a common spiritual practice to give up something for Lent. One year I gave up chocolate, caffeine and alcohol for Lent…the trifecta! I am embarrassed to admit that the result in this exercise of attempted self-discipline is that I was always thinking about myself crowding out any chance for God to find some space. I was also proud to boast when asked what I was giving up for Lent satisfying my ego instead of surrendering it. I may have lost 5 lbs during the Season of Lent that year but I certainly wasn’t any closer to God or experience renewal in my spiritual life.
Lent is a season for reflection, repentance and renewal. When you wake up on Easter morning, how will you be different? What are your plans to prepare the soil of your spiritual life for new growth over the 40 days of Lent? Are there things in your life – a habit, a resentment, a fear, a prejudice, an addiction, an emotional barrier, a form of excess, unresolved pain or grief – that keeps you from loving God with the fullness of your heart, mind, soul and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself? Is there something that prevents you from experiencing and resting in the Love that is already yours? Is there something that holds you back from living out your calling with courage and passion? Is there something that needs to die in your life in order to experience resurrection? What are your plans to address these questions over the next 40 days?
I am excited to journey with you this Lent Entering the Passion of Jesus. One spiritual discipline you may consider this Lent is attending worship each week and joining a small group study if you haven’t already. My prayer is that as we journey these 40 days focusing on the last, Holy Week of the life of Jesus, which is traditionally called The Passion of Christ, we will find space in our own stories for the Love that changes everything.
Fasting is a traditional spiritual discipline during Lent. Pope Francis challenges us to fast this Lent in the following ways:
(from Pope Francis)
What if you chose one from this list as your spiritual discipline and focus over Lent? How might you be different on Easter morning? I would love for you to let me know your plans for renewal this Lent so that I can encourage you. Email me at: [email protected] or let me know on Sunday morning. For me, I don’t plan to “fast” as I plan to “slow down” and practice being more present, being more present to God, present to the people I am with and present to myself.
May this Season of Lent be a time of rich renewal as individuals and as a community that we might live our faith more courageously and passionately and love more deeply.
As always, grateful to serve you and serve with you,