From the Rector...
Lent and Beyond
One thing I've discovered over the course of the past three decades – or ever since I began to bring intentionality to my spiritual life – is that the more you work to deepen your spirituality, and accordingly your Christian faith, the more interesting life becomes. I think this is because spiritual deepening results in making ourselves more available to God and God's providential purpose for both us and the world. Thus, one thing is sure for the Christian: there may be challenges, trials and tribulations – but you're never bored!
We are now entering into the Season of Lent, which of course commences with Ash Wednesday (March 5). Lent does not stand alone; it is a time to prepare – to intentionally engage in spiritual deepening – in anticipation of Easter Day (April 20) and the 50-day Season of Easter which follows.
I always see Lent as an opportunity: It is a time to engage in spiritual activities that I would otherwise not prioritize. Here are some recommendations for spiritual deepening in the Season of Lent and beyond:
- Observe a Holy Lent. This means that, whatever you choose to do in Lent – even if it's the old giving up of chocolate – make sure it reminds you daily that you are in the Season of Lent.
- Plan to attend one of the Ash Wednesday (March 5) services with the Imposition of Ashes and experience the humbling and yet powerful liturgy.
- Fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday (April 18). Years ago I maintained a pactice of fasting one day a week. No food for 24 hours. Water only. Continuing this practice for nine months proved to be both personally revealing and spiritually nourishing! I still maintan this practice for these holy days. To be sure, fasting does not necessarily require you to eat nothing; it could involve abstaining from something you regularly consume.
- Pray and and meditate regularly and intentionally. During Lent, a band of parishioners pray the Daily Office in the form of Morning Prayer in the chapel Tuesday mornings at 7 am. Evening Prayer is held in the Chapel on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm. I have engaged in meditation in various forms for several decades. In recent years my practice has dropped off, but this Lent I look forward to reintroducing daily meditation into my life.
- Study. One way to approach the Bible is to choose one book or letter, no matter how short, and divide it into daily passages. Make each passage your thought for a day. Lent is also a good time to read a book by a spiritual writer. Authors such as Anne Lamott and Richard Rohr are popular. One of my favorites is Works of Love by Soren Kierkegaard. Another nook that would be appropriate for Lent is My Descent into Death and the Message of Love which Brought Me Back by Howard Storm.
- Engage Others. During Lent make it a point to bring compassionate attentiveness to others, especially those who you might otherwise ignore or avoid. Make the most of Lent by visiting Common Cathedral for prayers and a meal. This remarkable worship community, co-founded by our deacon, Marc Genty, meets every Friday at 6 pm at Collyer Park in Longmont.
- Faith Family Hospitality. Our ministry for families who find themselves temporarily homeless returns to St. Luke's the second week of Easter Season (April 27 - May 3). Please plan to participate.
I welcome you to meet with me if you have questions or are looking for additional ways to develop a meaningful Lenten practice within the confines of your schedule. May God bless you and keep you in this Holy Season of Lent ... and beyond!
Lent and Easter Services
Good Friday, April 18
12:00 pm Liturgy for Good Friday
5:00 pm Stations of the Cross
Easter Vigil Holy Eucharist, April 19
Easter Day Holy Eucharist, April 20
9:00 am Family Service with Children’s Homily
11:00 am Festival Service*
*incense will be used in the service