Lent is the season that prepares for Easter, one of self-examination, reflection, and practice as we try to turn our lives back towards God and prepare ourselves for the Mystery of Easter. It’s a time to pay attention to what we need to take up and what we need to put down — often embodied in taking on a practice for the season, while fasting from something else. While there is a deeply personal element to Lent, as we plumb our souls, it is a time best entered as a community. Together we support each other, reach to make ourselves vulnerable as we work to re-form our lives, and offer care to one another with the knowledge that we are all in this together. Of course, in 2021, most of us have, by now, great practice and experience in giving things up; we are well-acquainted with this practice. And so, we consider this particular 2021 season of Lent to be a continuation of that wilderness we have been in, but mark this time with reflection towards transformation of heart, based on what is and what has been, so that we might best turn our lives toward God.
Preparing for Lent: Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras
But first, before Lent begins, we party! Shrove Tuesday playlist + jambalaya recipe! Want to know more? TBH, Wikipedia tells it best.
Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, where we “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” There will be three services offered this day. At each service we will put ashes on our own forehead (or have someone in your family/household do it for you), and you can find these ashes in our Lenten kits or by coming by the church during the day on Ash Wednesday (if you did not pick up a kit). You may also simply use dirt as it symbolizes the earth that we will return to one day.
Walking Through the Wilderness of Lent: Daily Reflections
This year we are exploring metanoia, transformation, by walking through the wilderness of Lent. For some time we have been in the wilderness, and there remain, but this Lent we are choosing to walk through rather than around so that we can turn our lives towards God and deeper into the great mystery that is Easter. To do that, we will provide a prompt for each day of Lent, and along with that, a parishioner’s response to that prompt. We ask that you set aside a time each day to reflect with us, using both the prompt and your fellow parishioner’s reflection for your own reflection. Then, take your reflections into a small group or one of our Sunday small groups where you can share your thoughts with others.