May you be blessed at the beginning of your Lenten journey as we celebrate Ash Wednesday with the imposition of ashes, the litany of penitence, and the Eucharist. This Lenten season feels a little anticlimactic – we began our Coronatide journey during Lent last year and continue now, almost a full year later. Yet, we are invited to not simply mourn the past year but to spend time looking for God’s presence in places and ways we are unfamiliar with. Our Lenten journey is one that invites us to spend time fasting and offering sacrifices, praying for contrition, and keeping our minds on the things that separate us from God. May your Lenten journey be holy and empowering to prepare you for your future.

Our lessons today carried the themes of fasting, mourning, and weeping. But not simply to rest in those places but to use those practices as a means to return to the Lord. The lessons remind us that mourning is not the end – being restored to God’s presence is what our journey should provide. We are also invited in scripture to make ourselves and our practices sacred – focused on God and our relationship with God. One reason we offer sacrifices and partake in fasting is to open our eyes to the Holy Spirit. Maybe, that’s the principle we need to focus on this year.

How will you allow the Holy Spirit to lead you during your Lenten journey? I invite your comments,

Readings: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 103; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10; Matthew 6:1-6 , 16-21

Video of worship:

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