Lent commenced on Ash Wednesday. On that day we gathered to recall that we are dust and to dust we shall return. The liturgy for Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are mortal, sinful, and in need of a fresh start and perspective. It also reminds us that God claims us through Jesus Christ and that we are marked with the cross of Christ forever. We are forgiven and renewed by God’s love. Because of God’s grace and mercy our perishable nature puts on immortality. Lent affords us an opportunity to once again reflect on the life-saving and life-giving work of God in, with, and through the life, death, and resurrection of God’s beloved
Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Lent offers each of us an opportunity to pause, reflect, and evaluate our faith and life. I encourage you these next forty days to tend to your life in faith. Lent is historically the time in the church year when many devote themselves to spiritual disciplines including an increased prayer life, fasting, and almsgiving (the practice of giving money or food to the poor).
Take time this Lent to increase and deepen your prayer life. In this newsletter and the weekly bulletins are the lists of people for whom prayers have been asked. Use these lists and keep your own as you more regularly devote yourself to praying for those in need here and throughout the world. Consider adding time each week to pray as a family or with a loved one in their presence or by phone.
Fasting is the discipline of refraining from certain foods or drink to create space for reflection about one’s faith and life. Many give things up (e.g. food, chocolate, TV, the internet, etc.) during the Lenten season as a way to challenge themselves to center their hearts and minds on the spiritual rather than the material. Some prefer to take on new disciplines such as increasing their study of holy scripture, reading more often, volunteering at church or a local agency to help those in need.
Almsgiving is a classic discipline of using the Lenten season as a time to provide assistance to those in need. At Christ Lutheran we follow Christ’s teaching and example in helping those in need. Your gifts and tithes help the congregation minister to those in need in many ways throughout this community and the world. Your gifts and donations are appreciated!
On Wednesday evenings throughout this Lent we will gather for an opportunity to eat, enjoy fellowship, and worship together. Please make these midweek gatherings part of your Lenten experience. On Sunday mornings and throughout Holy Week we will come together to worship, learn and visit with one another. Invite a neighbor, friend, colleague, or classmate to join you on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings this Lent. May our good and gracious God inspire and renew your life this Lent!
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Stephen Herr