Rector's Message for March

I pray that your Lenten season has been, and will continue to be, one of clarity and self-awareness. On Ash Wednesday, the church invited us to observe a holy Lent, not as a way to punish ourselves but as a way to grow closer to God through our honest “self-examination and repentance.” The liturgy gives us some suggestions on how we should go about this. The holy habits of “prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” are ones that could be practiced at any time and throughout our whole lives. Just focusing on one of the four holy habits listed above would prove fruitful.

Lent is a time of focus. It’s the two-a-day football practice before the season gets started. It’s the “cross training” before the marathon. Lent is when we prepare ourselves for the glory of the Resurrection which we will celebrate on Easter Sun-day.

As we make our way to the cross, let’s do some cross training. Get ready to receive God’s grace and mercy. We can prepare ourselves by being honest with ourselves about ourselves. Lent is not a time to earn our salvation. Rather, Lent is a time to reflect on where we are on our spiritual journey and to focus on some holy habits in order to be more receptive to the gift of Christ’s redeeming Easter love.

Our worship together is important in this season. Lenten cross training is done both individually and in community. Being in community means we are on the journey together.

Outside of our regular Sunday service and formation schedule, I hope you will avail yourselves of the opportunities we have to worship and learn in community with one another in this Lenten season. We continue to have noonday Eucharist midweek on Wednesdays, and our Wednesday night program, Living Well through Lent: Loving with All your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind, is off to a great start.

At the end of March, we will enter into Holy Week. The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday liturgies are poignant and moving as they tell the story of Jesus’ journey to the cross. Those liturgies invite us into that story and put us on a journey to the cross as well. The Easter Vigil on Saturday night is our first service of Easter Day. The Vigil’s symbolic use of light, ancient music, and the reading of salvation history move us into a celebratory mode.

The journey is better together. Come and worship. Put yourself into Christ’s story. Cross train with us at St. Michael’s. Invite others to cross train here with us and to become cross trainers as well.

Fr. Seth+