An Invitation to Lent at St. Paul's
This year Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. It seems funny that we might spend a day reflecting on our mortality on a day known for love, but these two holidays complement each other well. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and in the liturgy for this day we open the service with a prayer that begins with the words, “God, you hate nothing you have made.” This beautiful line reminds us that the purpose of Lent is to draw us closer to the boundless love of God. As we embark on this season, I pray you will find ways at St Paul’s to help guide you in your spiritual growth and flourishing.
Lent’s 40 days of preparation stands in stark comparison to Easter’s 50 days of celebration. But before we party, we must prepare. Our 40 days of preparation mirror the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness, which occurs right before he enters his public ministry. In this time, Jesus was able to endure adversity through his reliance on God. Similarly, Lent offers us a space to reconnect with God. There are many ways to observe Lent. Some people like to give something up (like watching television in the evenings, or maybe a form of social media) in this season. The absence of something they enjoy gives them the opportunity to ask for God’s help to endure their challenges and perhaps also makes more space for prayer and contemplation in their schedules. Other people like taking something on in this season, like a new prayer practice or attending an educational program at St. Paul’s. There is no single way to participate in Lent and we pray you will find practices that will draw you closer to God’s love this season.
The Rev. Laura Di Panfilo, Associate Rector