Yesterday, we began the season of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter, with Ash Wednesday. As I stood and placed the sign of the cross, while looking in the eyes of God’s people, I spoke these words, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, repent and believe the Gospel.” As each person walked away, I was reminded once again of why I love the liturgical Christian calendar.
There is a rhythm to life that we mark with these days. These days in the liturgical calendar create a touch point that gives an anchor to the changes and, at times, chaos that are part of living in this world. Even when the leaves are turning orange and red, making their journey to the ground, Advent begins, as once again we prepare for the incarnation of God in Jesus. We can know in the middle of winter, when Ash Wednesday arrives, that spring is coming and with it the power of the resurrection we celebrate at Easter. Death will not have the last word.
As I write this, the news is on. I’ve learned more about the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, our economy, the arrests of some people, the deaths of others. I need Lent. I need a season of repentance and reflection. I need our time together on Wednesdays to break bread and slurp a little soup with other people who want to love God and neighbor. I need our Vespers service mid-week to sing, pray, and talk about Jesus. I need this rhythm as once again the words of liturgy remind me of my mortality and the wonder of the Gospel. I hope you will join me.
See you Sunday, online or in person,