It’s hard to believe that we will kick off the Lenten season next week with Ash Wednesday. As you might imagine, the staff and I have been thinking a lot about it – our own spiritual journeys, worship services, Holy Week, and of course Easter Sunday morning. One of the consistent themes that has come up for us is the need to slow down: slow down and breathe, slow down and listen, slow down and love, slow down and see, slow down and simply be. Can you imagine?

I wonder sometimes why we all seem to be in such a hurry? Where are we going, and why is there such a rush to get there? I wonder about all the things and people we miss because we did not see and did not hear; we failed to love properly and failed to receive love offered. I think about all those moments gone unnoticed forever. And why? Because we were too busy.

Granted, there is much work to be done, far more than we will ever accomplish in our lifetime. And there are people depending on us all the time. I wonder, though, how much more effective we might all be if we could slow down just a bit, pay closer attention, listen more carefully, and be more thoughtful, patient, loving, and kind.

The Lenten season is about being honest with ourselves about ourselves, realizing that we are God’s beloved, for God has withheld nothing – not even God’s own Son – for our sake. We cannot do that without some stillness, quiet, and reflection.

How will you observe this Lenten season? What practices will you take on? Let go of? Like most things of value, we will have to be intentional if we want to get the full impact of the season and all that it means.

Starting next Wednesday, you will receive in your inbox a daily reflection beautifully written by the members of our church. I hope you will receive them as inspirations for your journey. I will write again in this forum after Easter.

As always, I am looking forward to walking these days together and greater still, to rising to new life together on Resurrection morning!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy