Dear CCOV Family and Friends,
The season of Lent this year begins on February 14 with Ash Wednesday, which is also Valentine’s Day. The UCC Book of Worship defines Lent as “a penitential season of self-examination, prayer, and fasting that precedes the observance of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter, which begins on Saturday night)” (Book of Worship, pp. 21-22). Lent is the season in which we reflect on the life, suffering, and death of Jesus, and what his giving of himself on the cross means for our lives. Some follow a Lenten devotional guide. Some participate in intentional prayer and study. Others give up something. One year in the mid-1990’s, for example, I gave up internet chat rooms. If you plan on giving up chocolate this year (as some people do), it is good to know ahead of time that the season begins on Valentine’s Day.
Another thought, however, is that we could add something to our lives or give something extra rather than taking, say, chocolate away. This year our church is continuing our Healthy Packs mission project as an outreach to hungry children living in the margins in our greater community. We will run this project through Lent, and it will be our church’s collective Lenten discipline. You can read the blurb about Healthy Packs in our latest newsletter, written by our moderator. I encourage all of us to do some healthy self-examination and participate, perhaps even upping our contribution level from last year. It will be good for our souls.
May we always reflect the great love of Christ, who loves us so much that he endured the cross for our sakes.
Grace and Peace,