We make a sharp turn in the church year on Sunday, moving out of the Christmas cycle, into the Easter cycle. Transfiguration signals that we are about to begin the season of Lent.
…give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.
The glory of God is seen in the face of Jesus. We find wisdom for our lives and peace for our hearts when the face of Jesus is turned to us in the word and the sacraments, and in our service to those in need.
I hope that you will all make an effort to do something to keep Lent. As I write those words, I know that most of you will do nothing different in Lent. Let me adjust my hope a bit and say: I hope that one or two more of you will keep Lent.
Lent is the planting season. It’s the time in which we exercise our spirits and make room for the light of God’s love in our lives. Catholic piety called people to give up something for Lent, so people would give up chocolate, beer or doughnuts. That’s good and healthy, but unless giving up something that adds fat to your body, also strengthens your faith, or expands your spirit, then it’s just a diet. Nothing wrong with it, but it’s not a Christian thing to do.
In Lent, try to find a way to open up your life to deeper love of God and to a more disciplined love of your neighbor. Try to find ways to open your life to God’s word. Find a disciplined way to help others. Again this year, Family Promise host weeks come in the middle of Lent. Sign up to do volunteer for Family Promise, then prepare for that volunteering by praying for the coordinators, volunteers, and families who work together as a community in Family Promise. Directions for signing up for Family Promise volunteering will come in a separate email.
In the first weeks of Lent I will give more suggestions for Lenten disciplines. One will be to develop habits of keeping silence. Find ways to meditate. Keeping a quiet mind for a few minutes a day can be a rich Lenten discipline. Silent meditation can turn into reflection on scripture, and contemplative prayer, which is something a little different from our group prayers in worship. More to come. For now, I would be happy if a handful of you have in mind that Lent begins Wednesday.
Florence House moms and their children will be here Sunday at 1 pm for a Valentines art project with Kim Poler in her Beehive Art studio. I have asked the confirmation students to play with the children as the moms work on art projects. If confirmed high school students or adults would like to help with this babysitting service to the moms, let me know. Sunday, February 11 from 1 pm until 2:30 pm, in the Peace nursery.