Lenten message from the bishop
Editor’s note: Though Lent doesn’t begin until March 1, Bishop Tim wrote this in time for congregations to include it in their March newsletters or Lenten bulletins.
“Lent” actually comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word “Lencten,” which we would translate “lengthen,” referring to the lengthening of days or springtime. It begins this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, 40 days (not counting Sundays) before Easter. The date of Easter fluctuates, determined as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
Lent is an introspective season, a time of spiritual inventory, of remembering our baptism and of recommitting to the spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting, and scripture reading. If you’ve fallen away from those practices, as is so easy for all of us to do, Lent is a gracious invitation to “Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” As we follow the journey of Christ to Jerusalem where he will suffer and die, many people find “giving something up” for Lent to be a more constant reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ to which this season is heading. Again, such practices do not make us righteous. They can, however, ground us again in relationship with God in Christ and prepare us for the joy of our Easter celebration.
As Jesus heads to Jerusalem, we invite you to journey with him, draw closer to him, and as he bids us, grow closer to others. Blessings on the journey!