Lent is the name of the season of the church year that comes between Epiphany and Easter. In our church tradition, this was the time when notorious sinners were reconciled and received back into the community. It was and still is, a time of instruction and preparation for baptism for those desiring initiation into the heart of the community. For all of us it’s a time of reflection on how we have separated ourselves personally, relationally, and communally from the ways of the God of love. After this reflection, what follows is an intentional opportunity for repentance or turning back to God’s ways and that same God so that we too may be more fully alive to all the grace God offers.
It’s a more meditative time, worship-wise. Yet Sundays are in Lent but not of Lent. They are still the feast days of our Lord. We may put away our vocal alleluias; we still hold them in our hearts as a reminder of the grace that is at hand.
Lent takes us back to our roots. We hear on Ash Wednesday that we are dust. Deep down, we are dust. It’s actually rather amazing we get along as well as we do. We are also meant to be in community. Remember, Adam was not alone for long! So, this Lent is being crafted as a time to nurture our dusty roots in the most fundamental communal (or common) spiritual practices of worship, sharing meals, and Holy Scripture. The particular (or Proper) liturgies are some of the oldest in our Christian tradition echoing back to the desires of our early sisters and brothers to truly reconnect to the original Mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
I keep thinking that what I’ve crafted seems like a fire hose of activity for this Lent. Choose what speaks to you or, may I suggest, try that which you most resist. There’s a variety here and the final worship is still being crafted. Lent’s only 40 days. Please consider it a gushing, vital well. Take small drinks, then another, and then drink as deeply and as fully as you can. Dust and water filled with the breath of God, fully alive, is the glory of God.