Ash Wednesday 2024
Dear friends and members of St. Matt's,
I hope this note finds you well. It's hard to believe - it feels too early - but this is the last e-news that will come out before Lent begins on Wednesday! I always laugh a little bit when Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day coincide. I know the days probably seem counterintuitive - but they actually aren't. Sure, the feeling of the rituals is a bit different. Ashes vs. chocolate. Fasting vs. special dinner, etc. But the somber nature of Ash Wednesday, the serious beginning of the season, seeks to remind us of our mortality. It's one of (maybe) three times in the entire calendar when we really contend with our humanity - when we look it square in the eye. Among other things, one of the important take aways of the day is that this is our time, this is our opportunity, this is the moment. And life is quick. Time races. We have to be clear about what's important, and do the work we're called to do. Ash Wednesday invites us to do some serious work in the season of Lent, to work on ourselves, to learn to live better, to learn to love better. Valentine's Day, beyond the silliness and the superficial layer, invites us to do the same thing: to take note, to be intentional, to decide who and what really matters, to be thoughtful, to seize the moment, to share our feelings, to love well.
So, the two days maybe aren't the best match, but they aren't the worst, either. I hope you'll join us at 7:30pm on Wednesday, the 14th of February as we make a right, intentional start to the season of Lent. Then, plan on joining us for so many things in this season. Andrew will be leading a virtual Compline on Tuesday nights, so join us from wherever you are for a brief moment of worship and blessing to end your day. Plan to stay after church for our beloved Gospel discussion and debate series each Sunday in Lent. Next week, I'll have information for you about a Quiet Day a little further into the season. And there is still more to come.
This weekend is a good time to think about what spiritual practice you might take on in the season ahead. Or, if you're more inclined to give something up, what might be a fitting sacrifice. Remember that all that we do in Lent - whether we give something up - or take something on - is intended to bring us closer to God. Our work is to make room, to hear God better, to follow Jesus more closely, to grow in our faith. Not just to make sacrifices for the sake of sacrifices. If you want to talk more about that - I'd love to talk with you.
Come on Sunday this week and see if you can find the baby in the King Cake! A little bit of Mardi Gras for your Sunday morning! You are welcome. And I can't wait to see you. Until then, God loves you. And so do I.
Tags: Welcome from the Rector