Thursday, March 16

Weekly Update

We are now well into the season of Lent. Lent though is observed with a varying degree of emphasis in our denominations. I personally grew up knowing about Lent. The Sunday bulletins always indicated the season of the church year we were in and the Covenant Church did and still does distribute a Lenten daily prayer and meditation guide. I think we had purple felt banners that went up, but beyond these little signs it took spending time among Roman Catholics and Episcopalians for Lent to take on much more than a passing significance.

My hope is that Lent is more than something we pass through. However, it perhaps means understanding what Lent is for, and what spiritual disciplines like fasting and meditation and prayer are for. Through the year we can get caught up in things and forget, forget who we are. Lent begins with remembering that we are dust and to dust we will return. Why is remembering our mortality so important if Christ came to bring us eternal life? This memory is important because we are on our way to the perfection God intends for us. And even in the end we will always have had a beginning. We remember so that we can truly celebrate the triumph of God in Easter, so that we can be ready to walk the way of the cross in Holy Week. We remember so that the way of the Cross and the triumph of Easter may be more firmly planted in us as we live our life and seek after God. Lent reminds us hopefully where we can grow in our faith and how we live out our faith. We set asside a period of time in which our patterns of fiath will allow God to reveal our sins (hidden or obvious) so that we may be renewed in our faith and relationship to God. Of course God doesn't necesarily need Lent to work this way in our lives but Lent is the way the Church lives out corporately a pattern of life that encourages growth in the life of faith.

As we began lent worshiping with Immanuel so will we conclude Lent with Immanuel in what is called the Triduum, the three days of Holy Week which concludes with the Easter Vigil on Saturday night. The Triduum begins on Maundy Thursday, where we remember the Last Supper where Jesus washed the disciples feet, and continues with a Good Friday service, a solemn service where the crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated. The Easter Vigil iswhere we pass from Lent and the commemoration of God's Saving works in history to the celebration of God's ultimate triumph in the Resurrection.

Our joining with Immanuel in these services is the beginning of what is an evolving relationship with our host church. Immanuel wants to be involved with us and for us to be involved with them. We thank God for not only Immanuel's continued hospitality but their desire to work with us in the proclamation and living out of the Gospel. Pray that God continue to make known to us God's will as we grow together with Immanuel Lutheran Church.
In Christ,

The Pastoral Team