Pastor's Friday Letters

Lenten Friday Letter

By March 3, 2023 No Comments
Photo credit: Leanne Stevens

This Sunday marks the second Sunday in Lent, and our second theme of Wilderness.

After preparing our homes and our hearts with Wilderness Art, contemplation and reflection last Sunday, this Sunday we will accompany Jesus as he is baptized, and then plunge with him immediately into the Wilderness, marking our departure from our regular lives and into Wilderness Lent with an optional marking of the cross, with ash, on our foreheads or on our hands.

The marking with ash has been used to symbolize many things over the years.

I have come to welcome it as a reminder of my own mortality – the limits of my power as a human being, the natural and welcome boundaries around what I can “accomplish” with my willpower and determination. I cannot defeat death. And in that, there is a sort of release, a letting go, a surrender.

Ashes at the beginning of Lent give me a spaciousness that comes with that letting go, which allows more of Spirit to enter. Ashes at the beginning of Lent are a reminder for me to release all that I have been holding, striving for, working on, and Let. Go.

What will you choose to release this Sunday, as we enter this Liminal Space together?

This approach seems to fit with our Wilderness theme of this Lent.

Here’s what one of the creators of this work has said about it:

“Lent finds many of us in the midst of very personal wilderness experiences — the wilderness of discerning a major life change, the wilderness of starting anew under the shroud of grief, the wilderness of seeking connection in a deeply polarized culture, the wilderness of finding your way through a difficult season, the wilderness of listening for God in the swirl of questions and doubt, the wilderness of self-discovery and personal growth, the wilderness of getting lost over and over again.

“The good news of the wilderness is that nothing is static or still. Grains of sand harden into stone. The mid-day heat gets swallowed up by evening’s chill. The creatures of the day fall quiet as the creatures of the night awake. Everything is always in transition, ever-changing. The wilderness is harsh and sometimes scarce, but new life persists in unexpected places. Even if you are walking in circles, you are getting somewhere.

“And so, this Lent, we invite you to join us in asking, ‘Where is God meeting me in the wilderness? What can the wilderness teach me? What do I need to learn before I can find my way out?'”


See you Sunday.

Rev. Amara Oden

Author Rev. Amara Oden

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