Pastor’s Corner (2/27/2020)
“I invite you, therefore, in the name of Christ, to observe a holy Lent by self-examination and penitence, by prayer and fasting, by works of love, and by reading and meditating on the Word of God.” Liturgy for Ash Wednesday
The above words are part of the Ash Wednesday service. It is part of the Invitation to the Observance of the Lenten Discipline. On Ash Wednesday, we officially began the season of Lent. Here at FCC we will provide a number of ways to observe the disciplines of Lent.
All of the above disciplines can be done privately, in small groups, and communally in worship. Each Sunday, we will have the opportunity for self-examination and prayer as we share in a corporate prayer of confession, followed by an acknowledgment that we are forgiven in Christ. Worship will provide opportunities to hear and meditate on God’s Word. We’ll also have an opportunity for “works of love” as we collect our weekly offering.
Worship is a great way to “get grounded” for the disciplines of this season. In addition to our usual worship on Sundays, we’ll also have some special services. Many of us attended worship here at FCC at noon yesterday to observe Ash Wednesday. We also had the opportunity to join other Christian Churches in Lincoln for shared worship Wednesday evening at SouthPointe Christian Church. FCC will host the shared service on Maundy Thursday 9 April. This year worship will include a Tenebrae, Service of Shadows. Of course, we’ll have our soup supper beforehand, so be sure to come early at 5:30 pm to prepare for worship at 7 pm. Good Friday will include worship at noon in the sanctuary, followed by the opportunity to share in our 24-hour prayer vigil after the Good Friday service. The day we’re all preparing for, Easter Sunday, will include breakfast from 8-10 am followed by a joyous worship service at 10:30.
We’ll also offer opportunities for self-reflection and service as we gather on Wednesday evenings. We’ll hear from people in the community and learn ways in which we can be of service to others. This time of food and fellowship also provides a chance to hear how the Lenten disciplines are going for others. Come and visit about what’s working and what isn’t. Our Outreach Team has also provided the opportunity to partner with others to be of service. During March, we’re invited to contribute items to Voices of Hope, a shelter for those dealing with domestic abuse. Generally, those seeking shelter leave with nothing, so everything we contribute will make a huge difference to our partners there. Details can be found in this Messenger and in bulletin inserts on Sundays.
Lent is a great time to foster various disciplines in our homes and with our families. Be sure to take one of our Lenten devotions “For the Beauty of the Earth” to assist you through this Lenten journey. Read scripture, pray, and ponder God’s call on our lives. Our devotional this year invites us to be aware of God’s presence in the created world. Another great way to observe the Lenten disciplines on your own or with family and friends is to take a “Lent-in-a-Bag.” The brochure inside provides simple guidance for using the items inside the bag.
May this Lent be a time of new life and renewal for us, our families, our congregation, and our world.
With eager expectation,