It feels like forever. It feels like forever since we have hugged our friends, heard the singing of our neighbors in our ears, broken bread together, sat in “our” pew with our family. And it’s not just Covid that weighs heavily on our hearts. Suffering and brokenness continue to find us. It feels like the cycle of isolation and suffering is on repeat.
It is at times like these that I find ritual to be transformative. Through actions we have shared many times before, we come to remember who we are and to whom we belong. And the rituals of Lent hold us, speak to us, heal us. While it is tempting at this point to simply get on with life and pretend everything is fine, sacred rituals invite us to slow down and savor the love of a God who whispers to us over and over, “I choose you, I love you, I will lead you to repair.”
I invite you to join your First Congregational family this Lent on a journey of encounter. Each Sunday we will rest in the truth of our human condition – that even though we doubt, mess up, and act out of self interest – again and again we are offered healing. Each Sunday we will be reminded that the story of Jesus is our story. Each Sunday we will lament in the reality of a world ruled by corruption and lovelessness – and we will rejoice in the truth that God breaks the cycle and offers us a new way forward. Again and Again.
As we begin Lent, it is unlikely that we will be worshipping in person. But that does not mean we cannot worship together. I hope you will join us online for worship as has been our custom. In addition, each household will be receiving a Lenten Devotional to enhance your family’s lenten experience. The devotional is designed to use at your own pace, alone or with loved ones. It is my hope that in the quiet of your own home and heart, you will encounter the God who keeps moving toward you, again and again and again.