Lent is a forty-day journey where we prayerfully prepare for Jesus’ death and resurrection. We do many things as a community to take part in the prayerfulness of this season. This year we gather on Wednesday evenings to share a meal provided by our youth. After our time of fellowship, we will hold a time of song and prayer, using the Holden Evening Prayer. This is a worship service from a Christian retreat center in the mountains of Washington state. The whole service is mainly sung. In our worship, we will dwell on the light of Christ who shines in the darkness. With the help of our confirmation students, we will meditate on God’s abundance by focusing on five divine attributes drawn from the gospel texts for Lent: faithfulness, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.
Lent also gives us the opportunity to find personal spiritual practices. Many Christians choose to do a fast through the season of Lent. A traditional fast is to not eat anything for the season. Many have adapted the fast to be a diet of no meat for the season of Lent. Others choose to use this as a time to prayerfully give up a habit that is not good for their health or relationships.
There is a nationwide Lent practice that many young adults have been doing for a few years called “No Plastics for Lent.” These young adults are calling “…us to pray for creation, to lament the ways we have been complicit in the degradation of the earth, and to care for our neighbors in fasting from the things that are hurting our planet” (Savanna Sullivan, ELCA Young Adults). They suggest that individuals, families, and communities prayerfully fast for 40 days from the use of single-use plastics. In addition, they are providing weekly devotionals and tips on how to make these changes in your homes and the church. They will have opening worship on the ELCA Young Adults Facebook page on March 7th.
There are many communal and individual spiritual practices that you can do. I encourage you to set aside time this Lenten season to pray and reflect on the cross of Christ. I encourage you to walk this forty-day journey towards that cross with contemplation on your baptism. Remember that you are a child of God who has given each of us life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Tyler Hoey, March 2022