Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We will once again start our Lenten journey with Ash Wednesday services on the 6th of March. Through the many weeks, we will continue to tell stories and make our progression towards Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the promise found in the empty tomb on that first Easter morning. The season of Lent is a pilgrimage of sorts to reflect on the actions that Christ took on for all of us, we put aside the celebration word of Alleluia during our worship services. Many feel like some-times the church seems dull during this season, dreary, and somber. However, I don’t believe it needs to feel that way, it only feels like that if we allow that to be our mindset.
Pastor Keith has found a theme for our Lenten services, which will introduce 5 faith practices that we should consider in our homes. My challenge for all of us is that we take these practices and give them a chance to help grow your own faith life and that of your households. The season of Lent gives us all the opportunity to strengthen our own spiritual journey, deepening and understanding our faith life and some of the traditions we share as Christians. We will again be using the Holden Evening Prayer as part of our services and start each Wednesday night with a shared meal together, served by our Confirmation students. Meals will be at 6 pm with worship at 7 pm.
We will not only have the Lenten services here at Martin’s, but the Ministerial will continue to do our community worship services on Sunday nights. Meals will be held at 6 pm with worship at 7 pm. Please see the schedule in the newsletter of where the services will be held each of the Sunday nights during Lent. It is a time where we come together as the whole body of Christ, setting aside our denominational differences to share a meal and story together about our Christian faith. During this time, we will have members of all our worshiping communities practicing and sharing His story in song on Palm Sunday, in the Cantata. If you would like to be a part in any way look for sign up sheets and times for meeting dates and times for rehearsal. It is a unique opportunity to come together and share the “good news.”
I would also like to hear from you if you have any traditions in your household that you do together during the season of Lent. What are some ideas that we can share together about how we can find new and different ideas during this time of remembrance and reflection? God has given each of us a gift to think and rationalize, that funny thing we like to refer to in the Lutheran tradition as, Freedom of the Will. Each of us is given a mind to understand exactly who He is and develop our own understanding and relationship with Him, as the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we share stories and ideas of practicing our faith with one another, it allows the work of the Spirit to burn and move across those things that divide us or bring us back from times of doubt. The prophet Jeremiah reminds us all that God has a plan for us, we just need to be willing to listen and discern where, when and how it will take shape. Let’s take this time together and be shaped by His story through this year’s Lenten journey.
Peace, Pastor Mike