The Scene with Pastor Gene...
... OUR LENTEN SEASON
It was just a few days ago that we celebrated Valentine's Day and the start of Lenten Season with the imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday. It is a poignant reminder of the love that Jesus Christ shares with us each day and the sacrifice He made on the cross for our sins. Adam Hamilton in his book "Twenty Four Hours That Changed The World", writes that Jesus is believed to have died at the age of 33 after a life of approximately 12,000 days. The Gospel writers devoted most of their work to just 1,100 of those days, the last three years of His life. The suffering, death , and resurrection of Jesus Christ represents the pinnacle of the gospel and completion of God's saving work through Jesus Christ. The Lenten Season culminates on another notable day on our calendar, April 1st, as Easter comes a little early this year.
Lent is a time about "following". The narrative about Jesus' suffering and death provides a way in which we are able, in an act of disciplined imagination, to situate our lives into the story of Jesus Christ. We become aware that the story of Jesus requires and permits a new version of our own story of life and faith. Lent is also a good time for fresh decision-making about our reliance upon the God of the Gospel. That decision making is commonly called "repentance". It's a time to reflect on the way in which God gives us a new life - a life that is welcome when we recognize how our old way of life can sometimes leave us a little weary and unsatisfied.
Lent is also the time to face the reality that there is no easy or 'convenient' passage from our previous life to a new, joyous life in the gospel. The move from one life to another follows the pattern and sequence of Jesus' own life. Lent is our time for life with God. While Jesus' suffering and death were public events in the days of the Roman Empire, His prayers echoing the psalms were evidence that his primary focus was on life with God. So it is in Lent that we may temporarily draw away from public life. We can devote our energy to defining a relationship with God who hears our prayers and forgives our sins.
This year we will be celebrating Holy Week with Maundy Thursday and the celebration of the Lord's Supper at our Trinity UMC. Our TUMC choir will be joined with the Pikes Peak UMC choir and church members from PPUMC. And then we will celebrate Good Friday at Pikes Peak UMC for our Tenebrae service, and I hope you will be able to join in that service at Pikes Peak UMC. Pastor Dea and I will also take time during the Lenten Season to attend organ music at the First United Methodist Church downtown during the lunch hour that was so well received last year.
It is my prayer that you will be blessed with a closer relationship with God during this Lenten season as we continue our journey following Jesus Christ to the cross.