Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
We are now nearing the end of our Lenten journey. The wanderings in our own deserts are continuing and we are reflecting, each in our own way, about our Lord and Savior and his role in our lives and our church as well.
For the past Lenten weeks I have been meeting with diverse groups of people in what I call my "Episcopal 101" classes. I have 8 faithful sojourners ranging in age from 12-13 up to those in their 50's and maybe older. We are spending time discussing our Faith Tradition, that Anglican way of life, that at times is challenging, yet so life giving as well. We journey into difficult and challenging areas, listening to and discussing with varied understandings of faith and we emerge on the other side as more well rounded and hopefully tolerant and desiring to learn more. What an appropriate season to stretch ourselves.
Here at All Saints we have always been open to discuss change and that is a good thing for as Prayer Book people we are called to change. It is part of our three legged stool of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. We are called to live in "Community" the root of which is "Common" as in The Book of Common Prayer. When we are called to live in community we are called to change and adapt, but we do so without sacrificing core beliefs: Jesus Christ is Lord; Father, Son, Holy Spirit: and Respecting the dignity of ALL Human Beings as our Baptismal Covenant reminds us. This is but one of many things that make us, as Episcopalians unique. We are not scared of change, we understand that the world changes and that we are called to live, work, and minister in this changing world in Christ's name. Thanks be to God! and for each and every one of you!
An Episcopal Dictionary describes Lent, "Early Christians observed "a season of penitence and fasting" in preparation for the Paschal feast, or Pascha (BCP, pp. 264-265). The forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism, and for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly. In the western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word" (BCP, p. 265)."
We celebrate a Holy Lent both by taking on those things that bring us closer to God, and shedding those indulgences, habits, and practices that steal our attention. Ironic as it seems, we sometimes are fed only by fasting-by denying ourselves that which distracts us from the truly nourishing. When we fast, we clear out space for God. We forego the diversions that keep us occupied and instead make room inside for an expanding spirit, one that is nurtured on prayer and worship and the feast of love that is offered to us.
At All Saints we pray that you will find this season to be one of reconciliation and renewal celebrated by Christ's Resurrection at Easter.
See ya Sunday!
All Saints Messenger >