As we begin our Lenten journey I bid you peace. I am struck by a phrase that sticks with me from my childhood and Lent: “Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God…” God is inviting us to open our heart to find God (or to return to God). Today we, in fact, celebrated the work of God in the world in our friends Millard Winslow and Shirley Rhees. They have completed their journey and know what it means first hand to be in communion with God. The work we do this Lenten season will, hopefully, prepare us to live a true relationship with God – sharing the blessings and grace God gives all people.

Our worship begins a reflective journey, touching the “old language” of Rite I; not because Rite II is especially more joyful but because the change makes us pay attention. Our lessons today begin by laying out the first sin of Adam and Eve – the knowledge of good and evil and how that leads to death. Yet we also hear that God does not condemn us if we confess and work to be restored with God. Our Lenten journey, while possibly could focus simply on our numerous sins, is an invitation to consider how our sins prevent us from receiving God’s already-present grace.

I invite your comments,

Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

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