Yearnings of Lent

And so it begins… the season of Lent. You might have noticed the beautiful purple sign on the front lawn (next to the electronic sign) – “LENT… Bring your yearnings.” There are many people in our world living in fear or high levels of anxiety. What yearnings might they bring to worship? What yearnings do you bring?

Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, we’ll introduce the Yearning Wall that will be a feature of our Lenten worship; a place to capture our yearnings. Like the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem, the yearning wall will receive our prayers, our angst, our hopes, our joys … and by Easter they will be altered. Please plan to attend worship during this season to make space for the hoped-for transformation that brings our faith alive.

This week’s reading from the gospel of Matthew tells a story of the beginnings of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus is led by God’s spirit into the wilderness to be tested. Wilderness is a place of seeking, journeying, and struggling with the possibilities. Life can be so much like this. We may not know where we are going, but we are invited to set out – to begin the adventure that is Lent. We do so knowing we can challenge temptations we might face, knowing that despite our mistakes God is still with us, and that grace is greater than the sin of separateness from God and God’s ways. As we embark on this season, may your yearnings be transformed into hope, joy, and peace.

Traveling Companion God, journeys and new things can seem daunting, even overwhelming. Yet somewhere in our heart of hearts, no matter what, we know that you are with us as we venture forth. Remind us, throughout the journey, that your grace upholds our every moment. Amen.

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