Dear Friends in Christ,
What discipline are you taking on for Lent?
It’s a common question—and so I want to rephrase it for you. What discipline are we taking on for Lent?
This season (which begins next Wednesday, Ash Wednesday) is a time of preparation for Easter and readiness for new life. Christians sometimes approach it almost like spiritual spring training, an activity of individual fitness and proficiency.
And yet this time is meant to be shared in common. It is not a season for individual striving, but for shared accountability and support.
What does that look like here at Grace?
Like everything, our experience starts with worship—with an encounter with Jesus Christ. Come worship. We have three Ash Wednesday services. There is also noon worship on Fridays throughout the season, in addition to our usual Thursday noon service.
We will also gather on Wednesday evenings for worship, as well as formation and companionship. We learn from one another during this time, formally and informally.
It’s important to note that being together doesn’t necessarily mean being in the same room. (There is a place for introverts in the kingdom!) This year, I invite you to share in reading the gospel of Matthew, which is the central gospel of this liturgical year. We’ll start the day after the first Sunday in Lent and read (more or less) a chapter a day. Prompts from your clergy and seminarian will be on social media. It is a chance for even the busiest among us to reflect and connect.
It’s also important to make clear that Lent means becoming more—but it doesn’t always mean doing more. It certainly doesn’t mean exhausting ourselves. Mother Nina, Father Santi, and I have talked about modeling self-care and restoration during this time, which means that you won’t see every one of us at every single activity. I hope each of us can discern and choose our engagement as we are led by the Spirit.
I am glad to be on this journey with you in this season ahead, whatever form it might take for each of us.
Yours in Christ,