Dear St. John’s,
I saw a Facebook “meme” this morning where one person asks, “What are you doing on Valentine’s Day?”
“Rubbing dirt on people’s faces and telling them they’re going to die,” the other replies.
The post pokes fun at the fact that this year Ash Wednesday, when we repent our sins and contemplate our mortality, falls on Valentine’s Day, when we celebrate love.
Ash Wednesday is a somber moment as we begin the season of Lent. The 40 days of Lent are a time for self-examination and repentance. We may fast – whether physically giving up things like alcohol or smoking or meat on Fridays or food entirely on certain days, or from things such as criticizing others or gossiping or participating in certain social media. We may commit to additional prayer time or Bible study or take on a new ministry or volunteer opportunity.
It’s a serious time, but that doesn’t mean we’re required to be miserable or berate ourselves for our shortcomings. Our actions should seek to enhance our self-awareness and our relationship with God. And they can be enjoyable!
For example, at St. John’s, we’ll host a one-hour Zoom prayer service and discussion each Friday night. Our neighboring Episcopal churches in Mountain Lakes and Denville are hosting a Wednesday night study of a brief book on the Lord’s Prayer to which all are invited. For an entertaining and education March Madness-style event about the Episcopal Church’s saints, check out Lent Madness at lentmadness.org.
I hope programs such as these can help you enter into a Holy Lent. We will begin our Lenten journey at St. John’s with a Eucharist and imposition of ashes on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m.
Articles are posted by the Communication team, Rev. Sharon and others.