Article | February 24, 2023
Congregation Update: New Beginnings in Lent
Blog|The Revd Greg Kimura, Ph.D. (Cantab.)
Lent is a time for a new beginning, a new framing of our individual faith. It is a time set aside. Forty days (excluding Sundays and other feasts) to think deeply about deep things. A sort of cleaning out of the spiritual closet.
The Prayer Book tells us that Lenten discipline includes (at least) three things: self-examination and repentance; prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and meditating on scripture. Pray, give something up/take something on, and read the bible. It’s that simple.
But Lent is serious work. And it is hard work.
For these reasons, Lent holds an important place in the yearly cycle of return for the practice of our faith. It prepares us by stripping away those things that distract us from the holiness that should be central in our lives.
I’ve also found that Lent also holds a fascination to those outside the worshiping community. When I was a university chaplain years ago, the annual Ash Wednesday service to kick off Lent was amongst the best attended. It attracted the spiritually curious precisely because of its sense of solemnity, the strange custom of ashing, and the sense of discipline involved.
It was a sign of a hunger for depth and meaning — even from that age group, the church too frequently writes off until they grow older and have kids of their own and return.
There are some of our offerings that I will suggest for your own Lenten discipline. You can join us online, from Monday-Friday at 9 am, for Morning Prayer. The service takes about twenty minutes, and it will be a great way to start your day. We also have Thursday morning bible study and Sunday 4 pm book study. We invite you to take a class or attend a program with our diverse, open-minded community and see where it takes you.
I wish you a deep and meaningful Lent as we wander with Jesus in the wilderness to arrive at the joyful resurrection of Easter.