And actually, at least in our church, we don’t pretend that life is always easy when God is on our side, but embrace the fact that to get to the promised land of milk and honey, one must scrape by on manna and faith. The forty days in which we observe the Lenten fast is our own attempt to journey faithfully with God by giving up certain worldly pleasures. For centuries, Christians have observed this fast by giving up earthly things that give them great pleasure. Some of these things are simple like giving up chocolate and sweets while other things take more effort like giving up anger or destructive relationships. More recently, some people have started the Lenten practices of taking on new practices instead of giving up others. The idea is that one would take up giving to a new, charitable cause every week, take on volunteering more hours every week, or choosing to practice kindness more. Whether you want to give something up, or take something on, I encourage you to think about committing to a personal, Lenten practice this year that you can endeavor to keep for all forty days. It can be just between you and God, or shared with others, too, but Lenten fasting works best when you at least try to fast in some way.
For Lent this year we will once again kick things off with an Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, February 14. We will have a dinner at 6 pm followed by our service with the spreading of the ashes at 7 pm. After that, for the next five Wednesdays, we will be bringing back Dinner Church! That is right, it was such a hit last year that we have decided we will combine dinner and worship for our Lenten soup suppers in the fellowship hall. Consider joining us every week on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 7 for a meal and worship like they did in the early church.
The topic that we will be contemplating during our “Lentventure” this year is the mysteries of God. Our lives in this world have long been fraught with mystery. Why do we exist? What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? Questions like these are very natural, but difficult to answer. In fact, I do not believe that questions – questions which grasp at the mystery of the world around us and the God who created it - are actually meant to be answered. These questions are intended to be struggled with. However, these important mysteries about the way things are and the way things were meant to be are often lost beneath the noise of our distracted world. One might wonder, “Why think about what you can’t understand when there is no end to the information we can consume at our fingertips?” Good question! Join us as we talk about it throughout our Lentventure!