Thursday, February 19, 2014
Remember, O Lord, your compassion and love, for they are from everlasting.
We start Lent with ashes on our foreheads – a reminder of our mortality and frailty. But there is more. With the ashes we remember too, the promise of new beginnings that flow from the mercy and compassion of Jesus. Lent draws us back into the heart of relationship, renews us in our deepest belongings and moves us along the path of grace. We see the familiar in new light. We treasure the company of those who walk along side of us. We embrace a greater hope for all things.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
Lent is a time for learning. Whatever we decide to do to practice our faith in these forty days it is meant to make us more aware of the gift of God’s presence in our lives. It’s always easy to take for granted our closest relationships and the love we receive from them. During Lent we are called back to what finally sustains us so we may nurture all that has been entrusted to us. This makes room for needed humility and an openness to change.
Show me your ways, O Lord, and teach me your paths.
While we experience Lent in our own personal dimensions, the season speaks to our shared life as a community of faith. We once again see the teaching ministry of the church as a gift. We spend more time with one another in prayer and learning. On Wednesday nights in Lent we will let the teaching of the Small Catechism impact our understanding and devotion. We find that our many activities in the congregation emerge from the Spirit at work in and through us. The month of March will give us further opportunities to explore our vision toward greater integration and collaboration in our work together and our witness beyond our walls.
Merciful God, accompany our journey through these forty days. Renew us in the gift of baptism, that we may provide for those who are poor, pray for those in need, fast from self-indulgence, and above all that we may find our treasure in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen - Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 254