The season of Lent has two faces: one that is a lead-in to Holy Week, the crucifixion, and Easter; and another that reflects the 40-day journey of Jesus in the wilderness. There are conflicting theories about the origins of Lent, but a 40-day period of daytime fasting (as our Muslim sisters and brothers do during Ramadan) was discussed at the Council of Nicea in 325. In the Reformed Christian traditions (of which we are a part), Lent was abandoned as non-biblical…but we have been trying to reclaim some of the baby that was tossed out with the Reformation bathwater.
This year we are working with a Wilderness theme. Wilderness for Jesus was a place of testing and clarifying and preparation for his ministry. Wilderness for us may be a metaphor for wild-ness and the glories (and the threats) of Creation. Wilderness can also be a metaphor for chaos and the unknown.
Come and join us this Lent as we worship using Wilderness themes now through April 5 (Palm Sunday).…I guarantee that you’ll hear some new perspectives that will cause some new growth on the branches of your faith.
Tomorrow evening, you are invited to a simple soup supper (generously provided by a ministry team under the Deacons) and to a service at 7:00 p.m. If you have never been to an Ash Wednesday service, I’d encourage you to come and give it a try! You might be surprised at how meaningful it is.
Also, there are Lenten devotional booklets using the Wilderness theme available in the Fellowship Hall at Plymouth, containing poetry, visual art, reading suggestions from your Bible, and space for your own reflections.
May our journey together through the Wilderness bear the fruit of faith.
The Rev. Hal Chorpenning has been Plymouth's senior minister since 2002. Before that, he was associate conference minister with the Connecticut Conference of the UCC. A grant from the Lilly Endowment enabled him to study Celtic Christianity in the UK and Ireland. Prior to ordained ministry, Hal had a business in corporate communications. Read more about Hal.