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The Season of Lent
2018

By John Franke, Theologian in Residence

Lent is the season in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days in commemoration of the length of time, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, that Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring the temptations of Satan before the beginning of his public ministry.

Some Christians will fast during Lent or give up something in order to express solidarity with Jesus, while others will adopt particular spiritual practices during the season to try and draw closer to God. All of this is done in preparation for Holy Week and the observance of Jesus’ passion as he goes to the cross, as well as the triumph of Easter and the resurrection.

In all of this, the church expresses its commitment to Jesus as the Word of God in human form, who forgives the sins of the world and shows us the way to live our lives. Because Jesus is the living truth, who has called us to follow him, we have the audacity to continue to insist that some things are true for everyone regardless of their social and cultural location:

  • that all human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their circumstances or shortcomings;
  • that God is particularly concerned with the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed and that their liberation from these circumstances should be a priority in human affairs; and
  • that God loves all people and none are beyond redemption.

Such commitments are aspects of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God, a community where everyone has enough, and no one needs to be afraid. The self-denial, temptations and sufferings we remember during Lent and Holy Week remind us of the cost of seeking to establish such a community in the world. It will not come easy, it will make demands on us, and it will be costly.

The joy of Easter morning and the resurrection reminds us that the price is worth paying. Living self-sacrificially for the sake of a better world is consistent with God’s intentions for creation and will produce a wonderful harvest in the form if a more just, equitable and peaceful world.

In this season of Lent, let us commit ourselves again to following Jesus. To share with him the way of self-giving and self-sacrifice for the sake of others. To forgive others as we have been forgiven. And to look forward with confidence to that day when, having shared in the fellowship of his suffering love for the world, we will share in the fellowship of his glorious resurrection.  

Go to Lent Home Page

 

The Season of Lent
Letter from Lewis

The Season of Lent

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
Dear Friends:
 

As the cold of winter begins to loosen its grip on us and the days begin to lengthen, we long for the coming of spring. The first snows of winter may be beautiful, but the impact of ice and lingering cold brings real hardship to people who do not have many resources to insulate themselves from the winter weather. We may spend much of our time in warm homes, schools, businesses and cars, but we are all affected by the change in the seasons.

The seasons not only bring different physical challenges, but the seasons also bring memories that conjure up a wide variety of emotions. We may have special memories of swimming on summer vacations, raking leaves in the fall, spending time with family around a winter fire or planting flowers in the spring. There are also seasons in our lives from birth to childhood, from youth to young adulthood, and from adulthood to death.

The church speaks of the seasons of the church year. These seasons – Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost – are given to us to provide a kind of frame around the many emotions and events of our life before God. The seasons of the church year help us understand and interpret our experiences of hope, longing, joy, fulfillment, repentance, death, resurrection and divine presence. We grow spiritually and emotionally when we begin to see the adventures, encounters, trials, dreams and challenges of our lives in light of God’s unfolding story revealed in the seasons of the church year. Soon we will enter the season of Lent, which is given to us as a time of spiritual reflection and repentance before the dawn of Easter.

There are also seasons in the life of the church. I have had the joyful privilege of being your Pastor for these past 14 years. I can think of no greater honor or privilege than fulfilling this call that you entrusted to me so many seasons ago. As we hear in Ecclesiastes, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” This is the time for our congregation to enter a new season of life with new pastoral leadership. I am grateful for the past we have shared together; I am full of hope for the future before us. I trust in the wonderful plans that God has for Second Church as we enter this new season of life. 

Yours in Christ,
Lewis F. Galloway, Senior Pastor
 
 
 

 

 


Maundy Thursday
March 29

Maundy Thursday

Tenebrae Communion Service

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 8 PM

At this service of shadows, we share the Last Supper and hear the story of the last hours of the life of Jesus. The service ends in darkness.

Maundy Thursday begins the Three Days (or Triduum), remembering the new commandment that Christ gave us in word and deed as he taught us how to love one another, washing our feet as a servant. We also celebrate the Lord’s Supper, remembering the meal Christ shared with his disciples before his death.

Historically, this was the traditional day in which those who had undergone a period of public penance under church discipline would be restored to full communion.


Good Friday
March 30

Good Friday

Seven Last Words of Christ

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 12-3 PM

Meditations are held in the chapel on the Seven Last Words of Christ. Please feel free to come and go as you are able. This service features hymns, vocal and instrumental music interpreting each word.

Good Friday is the day we remember Jesus’ crucifixion. The hours of noon to 3 p.m. are particularly significant as these commemorate the time Jesus hung on the cross. It is an especially important time to pray for the church and the world for whom Christ gave his life.


Easter Sunday
The Resurrection of Jesus

Easter Sunday

April 1

The festival of the Resurrection of the Lord (or Easter Sunday) is the center of the Christian year. On this occasion the church joyfully proclaims the good news that is at the very heart of the gospel: that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.

Morning worship services: 8, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.

Sanctuary Music at these services features special music with Sanctuary Choir, Festival Brass, organ and percussion. Prelude begins 20 minutes prior to each service.

Evening worship services: 5 & 6 p.m.

Families@Five, for families with young children is in the Chapel, and the
Second@Six Communion Service is in the Sanctuary.