Dear Partners in
The season of Lent is
almost here. It’s very late this year (March 9) because
Easter is very late this year (April 24). With its late arrival,
Lent will actually live up to its name. The word “Lent” means
“spring” and spring it will be for the greater part of this 40
day season of spiritual renewal.
We got an intoxicating
taste of spring breezes last week. Given the winter we’ve
had, most of us are looking forward to the signs of new life
that are just around the corner. So in preparation, some of us
have begun stepping up our exercise regimen to get ready for the
increased activities that warmer temperatures bring. Some of us
are beginning to think about our gardens and some have even
started growing plants from seed indoors under lamps and on
window sills. Some of us are getting back to our diets in
the hope of looking decent in summer attire (think swim
suits!). And many are already dreaming of that summer vacation.
Just the promise of spring invigorates us.
Well, that is what the
season of Lent holds for us believers - the promise of being
spiritually refreshed and renewed, energized and invigorated as
we prepare to celebrate once again our Lord’s victory over sin
and death. Talk about new life! There is nothing in this life
that compares to the new life that Jesus has won for us on the
cross. The green shoots of spring simply point to the
saving, life renewing power of our Lord.
Our spiritual yearning
for this greatest celebration of the Christian year leads us to
prepare ourselves by engaging in the spiritual exercise of Lent:
prayer, fasting and acts of charity. Together, as a
community, we commit ourselves to faithful attendance at Sunday
worship and avail ourselves of special opportunities for
worshipping our Lord throughout the Lenten season. Some of
us will take our personal prayer and devotional time at home
more seriously, setting aside additional time to be alone with
God. Fasting is all about self-denial both as a way of
more fully understanding the sacrifice of Christ and as a means
to benefit others. Some of us will find ways to build up
our spiritual strength by practicing self-denial and help
others by giving up a favorite food or not dining out and
donating the money saved to world hunger or the local food bank.
As for acts of charity or service, many of us will look for
additional ways to serve others as a witness to the saving
compassion and love of God.
Each of our
congregations will be providing opportunities for you and your
family to join in this spiritual journey. There will be special
worship services. Lenten devotional materials will be
available. Pastor Paul will be leading an in depth study
of the Gospel of Mark and a Saturday retreat is planned, both of
which are open to all the members and friends of the P.L.U.M.
congregations. Also, special opportunities to serve are
available in all of our faith communities. Additional
information about these offerings can be found in this
newsletter and/or upcoming Sunday bulletins.
through this spiritual springtime of Lent, we will discover anew
our Lord’s power to refresh and renew us as we eagerly prepare
for the great celebration of the salvation of the whole world.
Grace and peace,