The forty days of Lent are a time when Christians join Jesus in the wilderness. It serves as a time for us to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even if we have left God. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (all done in secret), as a way of returning to our true life. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ passion (what he was most passionate about), his death, and ultimately his resurrection at Easter.
In 2021, of course, Lent will be different, since the pandemic prevents our gathering for many of the services and activities that we’ve come to expect and count on. Online worship will continue until it is safe for us to be in church together in significant numbers for extended periods of time. And, as long as that is true, Communion to Go will be made available to all who want it.
Meanwhile, staff and volunteers have prepared some (real, live, not digital!) materials for your Lenten Journey. Included among the materials is a booklet of selected Scripture, poetry/prose, and prayers. They are arranged around a theme from each of the Sunday gospels in Lent, together with a physical symbol for that theme. For example, the gospel for the first Sunday in Lent presents the story after Jesus’ baptism when he was led into the wilderness to face temptation and a period of fasting and preparation. Among your materials will be a small bag of sand to represent that wilderness. Take it out, tip it into a bowl, play with it, meditate with it. Let this be a guide for your own prayer life during that first week in Lent. The materials are free and no sign-up is needed. You can pick them up at church on Thursdays (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM) and on Sundays (10:00 AM to noon), beginning February 18, along with Communion to Go. The church sanctuary will also be open at that time for private prayer.
During Lent, St. Peter’s will also offer remote or online groups, including:
- A weekly Wednesday morning contemplative service (read more);
- Tuesday Evening Bible Study at 6:00 PM via Zoom (read more);
- Daily prayer with the brothers at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (read more); and
- Rite of Reconciliation (contact the rector at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lent can be an especially rich season spiritually. We are a precious community of faith, one body, held together in the Love of Christ. Let your prayer this Lent be yet another way we remain connected in Love.