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Invitation to a holy Lent

Invitation to a holy Lent

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (The Book of Common Prayer 1979, 267).

These words from the Invitation to a holy Lent during the Ash Wednesday service always move me. Although softly uttered in the stillness of a dimly lit church, they reverberate through my soul, as if blasted from loud speakers at an outdoor heavy metal concert, calling me to refocus my life on Jesus, reminding me that in God alone is found real life, ultimate meaning and true purpose, nudging me to let go of my petty concerns about what people think of me, grades and other trivial matters that in the end will burn away in the Holy Spirit’s renewing fire.

As we approach the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday February 26th, these words invite you to examine yourself prayerfully. They ask where Jesus is working in your life, and where you feel far from Him. They call you to focus more on God and to let go of whatever keeps you from the Holy One.

This Sunday, at the end of the 9:30 service, we will bury the Alleluias and burn the palms from Palm Sunday last year. This moving service prepares us for the start of Lent. People who attend the 11:11 are asked to come early and those who attend the 9:30 to stay late. Bring your dried-out palms. Place them with all that is dried out in your life in the renewing fire. The ashes will be used for the Imposition of Ashes at the 12:15 and 7:00 pm Ash Wednesday services.

This Lent may the Holy Spirit renew your heart, refresh your soul and open your mind with the life-changing power of God’s love.


John Gibson

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