From the Bishop: Lent 2015
Remember that thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou return.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
The season of Lent commences this year on Wednesday February 18th. The long stretch from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday (40 days, which do not not include the Sundays that fall during those weeks) is potentially one of the most deeply meaningful seasons of the Church calendar year. Over the course of these weeks we will journey together from the cold of mid February to the warmth of early April, from the cinders of Ash Wednesday to the cool Baptismal waters of the Great Vigil of Easter, from the solemnity of, “Remember that you are dust” to the glory of, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!”
By ancient tradition, Jesus’ followers take on additional spiritual disciplines during the season of Lent. We don’t do this to earn any special favor with God, but rather to deepen our relationship with the Holy One. Some people “give-up” things for Lent. This makes sense if by letting go of something in your life more time or energy is created to enrich your walk with Christ. Other people “take on” new things for Lent in a desire to achieve a similar result. Anything you add to your life that draws you closer to Jesus in some fashion is a fit as a lenten discipline. Many people draw strength and meaning from associating their 40 days of lenten discipline with the 40 days Jesus was tempted in the wilderness at the beginning of his earthly ministry. Just as Jesus renounced the temptations Satan offered to embrace security, affection and control outside of his relationship with God, so too, we endeavor during the season of Lent to rely fully – and only – on God as the one source that can meet all of our human needs.
Lent is in large part what you make it. If you are thoughtful and intentional about how you live these days, and prayerful and open-minded to how God might be moving in your life just now, there is every reason to believe that you can grow as a person of faith during this special season, and come to know the person of Jesus as a savior, brother and friend like never before. I hope you will join me in the work of this one of a kind season. Let’s make it a holy Lent!
Faithfully Yours in Christ –
+ Bishop Barker