Lent is a time for reflection. It is a time to reflect on what our faith in Jesus Christ means as a disciple in today’s world. But along with this time of reflection, we are also called to action. The Greek word for repentance is metanoia, which means to turn. As Jesus turned the world upside down, we are called throughout these forty days to turn our lives upside down (or right side up).
But it’s important that we remember that metanoia is not only turning away, but turning toward as well. Lent presents and affirms new life with as much power and passion as it portrays and rejects the old one. Historically, Lent began as a time of preparation for those on the edge of the church. Those preparing for baptism at Easter spent the forty days beforehand in final and intense preparation. Today, the emphasis has shifted from long periods of fasting to prayer, meditation and reflection on the meaning of the cross and the resurrection. I’m not real big on fasting or giving up other temporary things during Lent. Because metanoia, or true turning, is meant to be something permanent in our lives, not something which we return to on Easter Sunday. However, if you find that giving up something temporarily for Lent is meaningful, I encourage you to enter into that discipline with great fortitude.
This year, as we begin our Lenten journey of metanoia, we will be focusing on our lives of discipleship. We will begin on Ash Wednesday, March 1st at 7 pm. There will be no meal provided on this night. Then each Wednesday evening, beginning on March 8th, we will gather in the Imagine Center for a light meal, fellowship, and we will worship using Holden Evening Prayer. During our time of worship we will be focusing on an aspect of our discipleship, such as prayer, worship, service, and giving. Please plan on joining us each Wednesday evening during Lent at 6:15 pm for a light meal, followed by our time of worship and metanoia.
May God bless and sustain us throughout these forty days,