Joyous Lenten season to Bath friends and family!
The church season of Lent is marked by the bookends of Ash Wednesday on one side and Easter on the other. Lent gives Christians the opportunity to prepare for the gifts and glory of Easter by reflecting on our need for God’s salvation and restoration. As humans created by God, we are finite and fallible; yet God loves, saves, and restores us. Recognizing the limitations of human existence alongside the amazing grace of God in Jesus Christ enhances the meaning and significance of Easter as the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
We begin this time of reflection by observing Ash Wednesday, which focuses on human mortality and sin and acknowledges our need for God’s overwhelming grace. As we begin our journey to the cross of Good Friday, the empty grave, and the gift of new life on Easter morning, Ash Wednesday sets the tone for the spiritual challenges and practices of Lent. Traditionally, the three disciplines of Lent are prayer, fasting, and alms-giving. Some modern reformations of these traditions are adding a step to your prayer practices of journaling, meditating or incorporating a body prayer; giving up a food or relationship with food for Lent that is a stumbling block for you in your relationship with God; and choosing one of your vices that you spend a small amount on each week and giving the money to a charity of your choice instead. The main idea is to examine what in your life, right now, takes precedence over your relationship with God and prayerfully making alterations to your daily habits for the 40 days of Lent in the hope that it will increase your spiritual awareness and intimacy with God and may even result in healthier life habits after the joy of Easter resurrection as well.
What God can do with Dust - by Jan Richardson
Did you not know what the Holy One can do with dust? We are entering the season that begins with a smudge. That smudge is a testimony to what survives. It is a witness to what abides when everything seems lost. It is a sign that what we know and love may, for a time, be reduced to dust, but it does not disappear. We belong to the God who well knows what to do with dust, who sees the dust as a place to dream anew, who creates from it again and again.
Life will continually lay us bare, sometimes with astonishing severity. In the midst of this, the season of Lent invites us to see what is most elemental in us, what endures: the love that creates and animates, the love that cannot be destroyed, the love that is most basic to who we are. This season inspires us to ask where this love will lead us, what it will create in and through us, what God will do with it in both our brokenness and our joy. Amen.
I pray you all will have a blessed Lenten season,