Interim Senior Pastor Paul Svingen shares some reflections on Lent at OSL
I’m Giving up Brussels Sprouts!
Photo of Brussels sprouts by Franzi Meyer on Unsplash.
• Lent – an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “spring.”
• Begins on Ash Wednesday and continues for 40 days (excluding Sundays).
• Leads us into Holy Week.
• A time for reflection, purification, planting, tending, rebirth, and renewal in preparation for Easter.
• Ashes used on Ash Wednesday symbolize our total dependence on God for life and salvation as well as death, cleansing, and renewal.
Lent is a season when we turn toward God and think about how our lives need to change. It is a time to remember our baptism, and how that gift gives us a new start every day! It is a time for deepening your relationship with God and others.
Faith Formed in Relationships
Faith is formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships. In deepening our relationship with God and others, we deepen our faith. Historically, Lent is a time when children of God are encouraged to “give something up” to help them remember that Jesus gave up his life for us.
For others, an important Lenten tradition is to add something to their routine which helps deepen relationships with God and others. Have you thought about changing some priorities in your life which may allow you the freedom to add something new for the Lenten season? Our Savior’s is in a “Year of Renewal.” Palm Sunday (March 24) and Easter Sunday (March 31) will bring us to a new step in our journey to God’s future for us here. During this holy season of Lent, you have the opportunity to add something new to the “meal plan” you design for your personal journey to the cross.
Have you added daily Lenten devotional readings to your spiritual nutrition menu? Have you added to your prayer focus the decision to let go, and let God carry the burdens of the past that have kept you stuck in the items on yesterday’s menu? Have you added the vitamin of decision to develop and deepen your relationship with family members, or a fellow Our Savior’s member, or someone in the community whom you will invite to come to worship with you?
The ideas for things to give up and things to add are endless and in each of them you have the opportunity to build relationships and experience a renewal of faith. I encourage children of God of all ages to spend some intentional time this Lenten season tending to your faith journey. We know that the interim period in the life of any congregation is most like the Season of Lent. It is a time for self-examination and for turning away from what may be undernourishing or depleting your spiritual life or our congregational life in order that you/we might see and claim the life-giving benefit of something new to nourish you/us in your/our faith walk.
My prayer is that by the Spirit of the living God you might choose to live a faith life that is active in Love… God’s Love… given to you for you to share for the up-building of the Kingdom of God. May God bless you richly in the choices you make for the care of your spiritual life.