Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
In our Ash Wednesday liturgy, we are invited to observe a Holy Lent - it's kind of a funny thing - we are usually invited to dinner, or a movie, out to drinks or those of us with children to playdates - but invited to observe a Holy Lent! What on earth does that mean? And do I want to respond to an invitation that might require more work than fun?
God is constantly inviting us into relationship with God, but we may be too busy regularly to answer God's invitation to us. Lent is a specific invitation to us to re-commit our hearts to God. What that means is that this is a time to figure out the things in and on our hearts that are getting in the way of being in relationship with God. (In secular terms - it means looking at the things that are unnecessarily distracting us from being present with ourselves and our loved ones.) So we both give things up - those things that cloud our hearts and our minds (remember this isn't a time to lose weight, so we aren't talking about desserts and chocolate!) - and take things on - such as daily scripture readings or daily prayer -if you have a partner or a family, you may want to consider a common Lenten practice.
One of the ways we are inviting you all to observe a Holy Lent is to join us in contemplating the 10 Commandments, which we will recite every Sunday in Lent, hear about in our Sunday sermons, read about in Ana Levy Lyons' book No Other Gods and discuss in our three Lenten small groups. The commandments are guidelines and expectations given to us by God - something we tend to shy away from in liberal Christianity as we grip onto a concept of freedom of choice - and yet, what does it mean to consider them? How might they give us something that we are yearning for? We hope to find out!
Join us this Lent. Commit yourself to a daily practice, commit yourself to church - and see how much easier it is to turn our hearts back to God, together.