Things are not right. In our world, in our relationships, in our hearts- things are off. We walk through this life with the ever-present malaise that reminds us that we are “in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves”. The 40 days of Lent invite us to contemplate this reality and this year during Lent we will focus on the themes of wilderness and darkness. But of course, because Christ is victorious and loves us, we are reminded that even in the midst of the wilderness and darkness—we are children of light who have hope because of God’s great love and saving action on our behalf.
As we strive to keep the spiritual disciplines during Lent, I hope that you will anchor the whole season in worship where we hear God’s promises and share in the holy meal.
On March 1st we are reminded that Jesus went into the dark wilderness for 40 days to be tempted.
March 8th we hear about Nicodemus who came to Jesus with questions by night.
March 15th invites to remember the Samaritan woman with a dark past who met Jesus while it was still dark.
March 22nd our Gospel lesson re-introduces us to a man born blind who lived in darkness until he met Jesus.
And finally on March 29th we go to Bethany where Lazarus, the dear friend Jesus, had died and was laid in a dark tomb.
How might these lessons speak to our lives as we live in the shadowy wilderness of our present age? Come to worship to see how God will touch your heart and bless your days. The Lenten journey always takes us to back to Jerusalem during Holy Week where the quiet contemplation of Lent prompts us then to retrace the way of suffering that Jesus walked. But then as we go to the tomb again, all heaven breaks forth into joyful hymns as we remember the source of our love and hope. I hope to see you in church each week as we journey together.
Additionally, we will again have worship each Wednesday during Lent and our drama series is called “Lost in Grace”. The themes of being in dark wilderness are explored as we contemplate various kinds of loss that come to us in life and how Jesus Christ helps.
I hope you will commit to keeping a good Lent this year. I am very much aware, however, that so many of you are busy—and at times unable to come to church because of demands upon your life or you simply are not physically able to do so. Thanks to a very special and generous gift we have installed technology in the sanctuary so that we will soon be posting worship on Youtube at a St. Martin’s Lutheran Church channel. This will help you keep a good Lent even when the demands of life pull you away from Annapolis on the weekends. I am extremely thankful for this gift to the church and hopeful that it will help many to stay in tune with the readings of the season and our mutual journey at St. Martin’s. Watch for more specifics that will come in an eblast soon.
Please know that I remain thankful for all of you and I am honored to serve alongside of you in the Gospel ministry of light people so badly need in the dark wilderness of this world. God bless you and I hope to see you in church very soon. – Pastor Dave