by Pastor Gretchen Mertes
The invitation to Lent spoken on Ash Wednesday reminds us that we enter this season together “with the whole church.” It goes on to state that “we are created for communion with God, to love one another, and to live in harmony with creation.” Though many common Lenten practices rightly invite us to individual acts of “repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love”. Lent is also a time for deepening of community.
As Karen Lee and I were preparing for Lent this year, she noted this: we are in a state of transition at church, losing our lead pastor of 20+ years, in the third year of a pandemic, and the more connected we are to each other, the more connected we are to God.
Maybe in this season of Lent, we can feel connected when the world is saying that we can’t be connected.
In a time when we are worn down and saddened by separation, having to constantly re-frame, re-start, and dump all our plans, it is vital to our faith and our mental health to find ways to connect and create and remind ourselves that we are truly not alone. God is with us in the lowest places.
In our culture, we tend to isolate our faith life from the rest of our life, and we find that our greater community is different from our “church community.” This Lent, we can bring those two realities together through prayer, reflection, repentance, and practice. What a gift both for those inside and outside our wonderful church community.
Peace to you in your Lenten journey, and may we find that we are indeed “Created for Community.”
Lent begins on Wednesday, March 2, 2022