We are about to re-set for Lent, assess our priorities, examine our lives, and prayerfully attempt to better align them with God’s will.
It seems a bit redundant this year to talk about human finitude and mortality. Every day we see evidence of these truths, both personally and in the news. Our sin, too, is too real to hide. As Paul says, we do the very things we hate and fail to do the good we know.
Lent offers a time to not just acknowledge these realities, but also to ask God to work through them, transform them and use them for holy purposes. Our Lenten theme is “Surely the Lord is in this place.” Our hope is that it will offer us an opportunity to be aware of God with us, no matter where we are or what our circumstances. Borrowing from Brother Lawrence, we hope you will take these 40 days to practice the presence of God.
We will be providing a variety of classes, spiritual practices, service projects, and worship experiences that will help you in attending to the Lord’s presence. While our need to be virtual and physically apart continues, God’s power and willingness to knit us together will not be stopped. As our COVID Task Force monitors the virus metrics and advises us on the best health and safety protocols, we invite you to participate in the many Lenten activities that will take place between now and Easter.
We begin, of course, with Ash Wednesday, February 17. We will offer a full, virtual service in which you may participate in the imposition of ashes at home. (Ashes and other Lent supplies are included in your Lenten kit — pick one up for the next two Wednesdays at the Food Drive-by) We will also have two opportunities to receive drive-thru ashes on Fisher Park Circle in front of the Sanctuary, 8:30-9 am and noon-12:30 pm. Your pastors will be adorned with masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. We will use a cotton swab for each person and impose the ashes on your hand while you remain in your car. This is not your typical Ash Wednesday service, but it will be memorable, and we pray meaningful.
While we remember, perhaps cannot forget this year, our mortality and human limits, we will give thanks that in life and death we belong to God. This sure promise made known to us in and through Christ reminds us that surely the Lord is in this place and God will never leave us alone.