On March 6, the Church around the world once again enters into the season of Lent. Lent is a season of preparation and reflection. We are preparing for the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord. We are reflecting upon our own spiritual lives.
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. It’s on this day that we take seriously our own brokenness. We take responsibility and turn our sinfulness over to God. All of us fall short in the eyes of God. How easily we head down the wrong paths. We look out for our own personal good. We reject kindness. We walk around life arrogantly, scarcely thinking of our faith. This is our confession on Ash Wednesday. Our brokenness and sinfulness is symbolized in the use of ashes.
And at the same time, we are given forgiveness. By power of the cross, our sins are washed away. The moment we cry out the words of the Ash Wednesday psalm (51:10), “create in me a clean heart O God, and put a new and right spirit within me,” God has already granted us pardon and forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is symbolized by the sign of the cross that is placed upon our forehead.
We are forgiven. But it doesn’t end there. We are invited to go deeper into our faith. To that end, our theme for Lent 2019 calls us to action. St. Paul’s theme is “Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, and Walking Humbly in Faith.” Our dismissal for the Lenten season says it all, “Go in peace. Keep the faith.” We are invited to keep the faith of Micah 6: 8.
Every Wendesday in Lent, we will have worship at noon, 5:30 p.m. Kinderlent, and 6:30 p.m. Holden Evening Prayer. Our noon and 6:30 p.m. liturgies will feature a lay preacher who will focus upon an issue of justice. On March 13, Farmer Mark Mueller will speak about climate change. On March 20, St. Paul’s Principal Dr. Kris Meyer will speak about Children & Justice. On March 27, Dr. Susan Vallem will speak about Poverty. On April 3, Coach Marcus Newsom will speak about Racism. On April 10, Attorney Karen Thalacker will speak about Women & Justice. I am grateful for these souls willingness to share their experience in life.
For Kinderlent at 5:30 p.m., we will share a corresponding children’s book on those very themes. On March 13, we will read “The Problem of the Hot World” by Pam Donsper. On March 20, we will read “Those Shoes” by Maribeth Boelts. On March 27, we will read “Mama Miti” by Donna Jo Napoli. On April 3, we will read “The Story of Ruby Bridges” by Robert Coles. On April 10, we will read “Hidden Figures” by Margot Lee Shetterly. Just like last year, there will be fellowship opportunities on Wednesdays starting on Ash Wednesday, March 6. Lunch will be served after the noon service in the narthex. Soup and salad will be served from 5 to 6:15 p.m. in the Parish Hall.
I personally invite you into the discipline of Lent. Come to the service of your choice on Ash Wednesday, March 6, at 8:35 a.m. for school worship, noon, 5:30 p.m. Kinderlent, or 6:30 p.m.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8