Just as this whole year has been different, so has the season of Lent also been. At this time last year we simply had to let go of our Lenten plans. We were just trying to understand how to get together for Sundays. We had no capacity to also re-imagine our other Lenten activities.
This year, as we enter our second week of this solemn season it seems like some good pieces are in place. We had our first midweek Lenten gathering last Wednesday, in a new format of prayer, scripture, and table fellowship, where we could respond to the Lenten invitation to receive the gifts of word and sacrament. It was good to see many of you there. It felt like genuine community complete with warm greetings and a few glitches. (For which we are prepared next time!)
Yet, Lent also calls us to moral engagement with this broken world. It might be a study on hunger, or a project to provide hope or help to people in the community. Usually we do this together, but this year it’s something that each of us must discern and accomplish individually.
So I remind you of this important part of Lent: self-examination and repentance, enhanced by prayer and fasting, and then a practice of sacrificial giving and works of love. It’s something that begins in heartfelt prayer and becomes action. This is the road to Easter.
The Rev. Beth Purdum Eden is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She has served in more than 6 parishes in the Western United States for 30 years.