“Loving Lent” may sound like a cheap hook to get you interested in loving something you really don’t. Maybe it hits you like those “Go Grey Gloriously” ads hit me. No, I won’t, “go grey gloriously” and your commercial can’t make me.
When I was growing up, I really, really, really didn’t love the season of Lent. The church was mostly bare: no banners proclaimed the joy of life in Christ; no hallelujahs rang out from the choir; an already dark and cold late winter in Wisconsin got darker and colder. I finally accepted that to get through Lent I needed to keep my head down and soldier on. But then…
I recently learned that in the early centuries of the church, Lent was the season in which newcomers prepared to be received into Christian community through Holy Baptism. It was a season of building anticipation as communities of faith prepared one another for the sacrament that gave them their identity as children of God, and the whole community’s call to discipleship was renewed. Lent was a time of deepened relationship, growing awareness of the Spirit’s work, and delving intensely into God’s Word.
I’m sure a church history buff could tell me the reasons why that changed in many congregations, but I cannot tell you what a gift it has been to rediscover this season of renewal and hope! If Lent has scared you off in years past, don’t let it keep you away!
This Thursday and Sunday at St. Tim’s, we will continue our journey through a glorious season that prepares us, once again, to live as beloved children of God. If you could use some love, mercy, hope and renewal in your life, NOW is the time to worship!
See you Sunday…