Getting Ready for Lent
January 28, 2021
Each year, in the weeks before Easter, our church embarks on a season of spiritual formation called Lent. We open some time and attention to look reflectively at our lives, to welcome God’s guidance and teaching, and to see what growth may come of that. For centuries, Jesus followers have marked this period of anticipation for Easter through prayer, fasting, and giving. It’s one of my favorite times of year in our church’s life together.
This year’s Lent, we will be guided by some of our ancient tradition’s most impassioned and most obscure voices, known as the minor prophets. In the Christian Bible, there are 12 minor prophets. They are called “minor” not because they are unimportant, but because the collections of their writings are shorter. We’ll read bits of several of these prophets together. I’ll share a little more about them over the next couple of weeks.
The past year of our lives has been overwhelming at times. So much is changing, so much is being revealed, so much has come undone. Some of us have regrounded during this season; we’ve been discovering again what is most important. Others of us are unmoored; we’ve lost touch with what is most important and we’re not sure how to find our way forward. Most of us are hanging on, waiting and hoping for better days to come. This season of Lent will be a time to lean in toward God in faith, listen to the prophets, and let the Spirit of God reground each of us in what we and God consider to be most important.
Our Sunday services from February 14th through Easter will focus on this material. Many of our community groups will discuss the guide for the season. To help you in your personal engagement, our staff team is preparing materials that will be ready for pickup the weekend of February 14th. These will include a printed copy of a daily guide as well as several other objects and reminders of recommended spiritual practices. We’ll share more details the next two Sundays and in the next two weekly newsletters as well.
During Lent, in addition to our community groups, we’ll offer an Introduction to Spiritual Direction class. Spiritual direction is a way of listening to God, yourself, and others that opens up greater interior freedom and space for the movement of God.
If you’ve wondered how to deepen your relationship with God and also be impactful in the world around you, this class might be for you. Guided by Jesus and a myriad of contemporary voices, you’ll explore how generous listening can usher in healing and a greater sense of belonging to yourself, one another, and God. This class will require a commitment of attendance, reading, contemplative spiritual practices, and practicums of one-on-one and group spiritual direction. All 8 sessions will be held on Sundays from 1:00-3:00 p.m., from February 14th through May 23. RSVP via Eventbrite, by February 11th. One of our pastors Ivy Anthony will lead this class, along with a great team of spiritual directors and directors-in-training in our church: Naomi Boase, Stephanie Choo, Josh Davis, Vernee Wilkinson and Cate Nelson.