E-Newsletter for Sunday, March 1, 2020

Lent at SJE, Women’s Ministry Group, Compline by Candlelight and more in the E-Newsletter for March 1, 2020 – Available in full Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia. 

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
 

Dear *|FNAME|*

"I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word." (BCP 265).

We are now in the midst of the great forty day fast, a time of preparation for the coming of the Easter feast. Yesterday, whether on the street or in a worship service, many of you received ashes and were reminded that you are dust and to dust you shall return. The goal of these ashes, as articulated in the prayer that blesses them, is that they might remind us of our mortality and penitence and that all life flows from God's graciousness and mercy.

As you walk these next forty days, I hope that you'll find the grace of a Holy Lent and I do believe that holiness is particularly found in those twin aims: a reminder of our mortality and the importance of penitence.

I think everyone in our parish is more keenly aware of our own mortality, given the funerals of 2019 and the unexpected deaths we have already experienced this year. Even with our faith in the resurrection, the loss of those we love is always painful. We are reminded that life is truly short—shorter than any of us often want to acknowledge—and so we should make the most of the time we have on this earth. As Henri-Frédéric Amiel says (in a prayer our bishop is also fond of using in a blessing), "Life is short. We don't have much time to gladden the hearts of those who walk this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind."

However, the Lenten invitation to penitence and self-examination does not come as readily. We must choose each day to look honestly at ourselves, choose each day to ask how we should change so that we can be more loving, more kind, more in line with God's intentions for us. And when we fail, to choose penitence isn't to choose beating up on yourself. Rather, to choose penitence is to choose making that wrong right (as best as you are able) and moving forward from your sins rather than being weighed down by them.

I hope you find a reminder of both the fleeting nature of life and the grace of a true turning from sin in these days ahead. There is grace in these reminders, grace that will carry us to the Easter feast where we celebrate the truth that God's goodness truly does overcome both death and sin.

Through Grace,

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