The Second Week in Lent.
Dear friends and members of St. Matt's,
Here we are in the first week of March, the second week of Lent. All of it feels very familiar, doesn't it? If you joined us for worship the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, you heard me say that in some ways, I think Lent never really ended. And that we are in one long season of Lent. So what are we to do with that? How can we enter gently into this season? And still do the work we're called to do as Christians while attending to the fatigue, distance, and challenge of our larger pandemic season?
In the text appointed for today (Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent), there's quite a lot for us to consider about our place in the world, about our piety, and our willingness to put sin away from us. But the part that I heard most keenly as I said my own prayers this morning is this section of the passage appointed from Isaiah:
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes;
cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice,
rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.
In some ways, this isn't just the heart of the season of Lent, it's the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus reflects on these themes from Isaiah in his own words and shows us how to do this with his own actions over and over again. It's a lifelong journey. Filled with many choices, many conversion points along the way. And like all journeys, there are stages of it that are joyful and upbeat - and stages that are challenging, go on too long, and seem to ask too much of us.
Now, in the second week of Lent, how are you doing with your spiritual practices? What have you given up or taken on that is helping you draw more near to the God who loves you? I encourage you again - to enter in gently. See and acknowledge the broken pieces of your heart, the darkened corners of your mind, the losses of the season in which we all find ourselves. And, still, enter in. Don't miss this opportunity to do justice, to put sin away, to contribute to the needs of the saints, and to find yourself more faithful, more wrapped in the love of God when the season of Lent breaks open with the joy of Easter.
Tags: Welcome from the Rector