Pastor Deborah’s Lenten Letter

February Newsletter 2016

Pastor Deborah’s Lenten Letter

FEBRUARY 2016

“The glory of these forty days we celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ by whom all things were made, himself has fasted and has prayed.”
(The Glory of these Forty Days, vs. 1)

The forty days of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10th and culminates with Easter Celebrating Christ’s Resurrection on March 27th. We will celebrate with songs of praise and accent the “glory of these forty days”. Both I and the Adult Education classes will focus on Lent and Easter hymns in February and March. There are ancient Latin hymns like this 6th century hymn (above) which “connects Jesus’ wilderness fast with the solitary testing of Moses, Elijah, Daniel and John the Baptist” is a biblical lesson.* The words also call us to a spiritual discipline and dedication to God. Forty Days of prayer, meditation, soul searching and study is our prescribed preparation for Easter.

My kids bought me Fitbit for Christmas. It tells me the number of steps, staircases, miles I walk in a day. Plus it logs my heart rate and reminds me of the time of day. All of this information is tallied and graphed on my computer. Wouldn’t it be something if we had a similar wrist watch for our spiritual habits? Number of prayers, time for study, depth of study? Ah, it isn’t about the amount of time spent in prayer, it about the depth and sincerity of our relationship with God. Forty days of daily conversations with God, journaling, prayer, or study.

If you want something different, pick a Lent/East Hymn, study, sing or listen to it. Memorize the words. Pray the lyrics. Relax and let God speak to you.

Here are a few popular and traditional Lenten/Easter hymns to contemplate:

What Wondrous Love is This? (215) Beneath the Cross of Jesus (216), Were You There? (228), When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (224), The Day of Resurrection! (233)

And, a few totally new hymns in The Glory to God Hymnal,

“On a Barren Hilltop” (217), Rejected and Despised (222), There in God’s Garden (226), In the Darkness of the Morning (229), Joyful is the Dark (230) and Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers (231)

May God’s Love embrace you with love and give you grace,

Pastor Deb

*Glory to God The Presbyterian Hymnal page #165 commentary, lyrics Pope Gregory the Great (540-604 AD). Harmony Johann Sebastian Bach , 1725

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