Ramblings from the Rector – 02/01/2024


We will, very shortly, begin the season of Lent. I think that Lent has a bad rap.

When people think about Lent, they think about giving up something that they really love, for example,

chocolate or they think about giving up a bad habit (smoking, eating dessert, etc.)


They think about gloomy services and gloomy music, and while spiritual disciplines

(and getting rid of bad habits will generally improve our health), that is not really the purpose of Lent.


The purpose of Lent is to think about our lives and what would help us to draw closer to God, so that when

we arrive at Easter, we will be prepared to celebrate joyfully, with our whole hearts, the resurrection of Jesus.


One of my favorite hymns isn’t really gloomy at all. In fact, it is really quite sprightly! It is hymn #145, and it

advocates a very different way to think about Lent, focusing less on our sinfulness than on God’s love for each and every one of us.


The first verse calls us to a spiritual discipline that will lead us closer to God.


Now quit your care and anxious fear and worry;
For schemes are vain, and fretting brings no gain.
Lent calls us to prayer, to trust, and dedication;
God brings new beauty nigh;
Reply, reply, reply with love to love most high;
Reply, reply, reply with love most high;
Reply, reply, reply with love to love most high.


What if, this Lent, instead of focusing on our unworthiness, we focus on God’s great love for us?

That would allow us to see whatever we choose to do in Lent as a response of love to God’s love.


What comes to your mind when you think of God’s love for you and how do you think God would like to respond to that love?

The second verse reminds us that this might look very different than we usually think of Lenten’s disciplines.


To bow the head in sackcloth and in ashes,
Or rend the soul, such grief is not Lent’s goal;
But to be led to where God’s glory flashes,
His beauty to come nigh;
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear;
Make clear, make clear, make clear where truth and light appear.


I would invite you, this Lent, to think about where you feel closest to God. What activities, events, people, or places help you to experience God’s love?


Focus on those things, and allow God’s love to touch you this Lent so that you can really respond in love to love most high.