Invitation to Lenten Devotion
The season of Lent which begins next Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, is traditionally a season of increasing devotion in the life of the church. The season presents the opportunity for members of the church to recommit to the practice of the faith through increased reflection on scripture, fasting, self-denial, and repentance.
Many of us, me included, grew up in families or in churches that placed an emphasis on repentance: getting things right with God and turning away from evil - as though God needed satisfaction or appeasement before an Easter deadline.
In truth, God is always ready for us to deepen our relationship with God, not out of fear, but out of love. The God who loved us into being longs to be in a relationship with us. That relationship is characterized by freedom, joy, and love: the freedom to be ourselves in a relationship with God, the joy that comes from putting our trust in the promise of God’s future, and the love that invites us and supports us to become more loving, more generous, more faithful believers. Lent is not a season of turning away from bad habits but towards a deeper relationship with God and one another.
This lent, St. John’s is offering a few opportunities to grow in your relationship with God and your journey of knowledge and love. They are enumerated below, but they include: Sacred Ground, the church’s anti-racism curriculum, on Monday nights; a Wednesday study on prayer grounded in James Martin’s lovely new book “Learning to Pray;” and a journey through Lent with the poetry of Mary Oliver.
Details follow below. I hope you’ll consider joining us!