Blessings for a Holy Lent!
As I was looking through my lengthy document of resolutions that need our attention, I was struck by the thought that addressing the current issues of the Church through the work of these resolutions is one more way of keeping a Holy Lent. While we often spend a lot of time considering what we might sacrifice for Lent (chocolate, coffee, Facebook, etc), if these actions are not transformative in some way, we arrive at the celebration of the Resurrection no different than we were when we began at Ash Wednesday. I’ll be honest; this is not my original though – I was inspired by a great sermon from the Rev. Jason Prati of All Saints Episcopal Church, New Albany, Ohio. Here’s the link for “What Are You Going To Do For Lent?”
After you listen to Rev. Jason’s words and considered your strengths, you might be wondering what you can do with the gifts and talents that God has given you. Our good friends at Covenant 5 have compiled a list of some of the resolutions that need some hands and feet. You can find the list here – http://covenant5.org/Cov_5_Dioc_Church.php#GC_2015_Resolution_List When you find something that inspires you to act, let us know so that we can share your work with our Household and encourage others to get involved!
Of course, one way many of us seek transformation is through spending time in prayer and reflection and Lent is the perfect time for this since so many resources are available! The Episcopal News Service shared quite an impressive list of devotionals and meditations, group and individual studies, an interactive video series, and a new app written by a 14 year-old who has partnered with Forward Movement (it’s fun; I just bought it!) – http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/02/02/resources-for-exploring-a-holy-lent/ And, of course, there’s Lent Madness! Though some might question its transformative value, I am convinced that all education is life-changing – and, who knows, you might just be inspired by the lives of one of these saints to pursue new ministry!! http://www.lentmadness.org/
Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry also has encouraging words for us as we observe a Holy Lent. You can watch the video of his Message for Lent 2016 here – http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/02/08/presiding-bishop-michael-currys-message-for-lent-2016/
Maybe you’ve been looking for an opportunity to take your faith out of church and into a coffee shop! I think this is another example of living into the Jesus Movement as we are challenged to do by Bishop Michael. https://www.faithandleadership.com/thomas-rusert-why-i-offer-%E2%80%9Cfree-prayer%E2%80%9D-coffee-shop
Really, this Lent holds countless opportunities for each of us to be transformed into the people God wants us to be. What are you doing for Lent? What is making a difference in your life? Share your stories with us, please!! Together, we are God’s Church – the Body of Christ!
Let us pray –
Gracious and loving God, we come before to offer our thanks and praise! We are grateful, Lord, for each new day to walk more closely with you and to know your guidance in our lives. Enable us by your amazing grace to discern how you would have each of us observe this Holy Lent. May we be transformed by your Spirit so that, when we come to Easter, we are different people than we are now, people who are living more fully into your mission for the world. We ask this in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
~ The Rev. Deacon Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee