A Lenten Season to Remember

A Note From Pastor Shari

        Easter is a moveable feast, which means that Lent is a moveable season as well. Ash Wednesday can fall anywhere from early February to almost mid-March (the 11th is actually the last possible date). For two years in a row, Ash Wednesday has arrived in February. Which means that for two years in a row, we have begun February still following the Epiphany star, and ended it walking the way of the cross.
        Of course, a lot has happened in between these two February Ash Wednesdays. We are in the midst of a global pandemic and its far-reaching consequences for physical, emotional, and economic health and well being. We have been confronted as a country and as individuals with our own racism, our own bias, our own anger, our own brokenness. We have watched images of political and social unrest and of a level of visible divisiveness not seen for a generation.
        On our worst days, it may have felt like Ash Wednesday 2020 simply would not let us go. On our best days, we have glimpsed and claimed our collective hope that God is present in these difficult times, acting in and through us, calling us both to work for and to trust in the just and loving kingdom of Christ — calling us, in other words, to Easter.
        As we prepare for Lent to begin again, it is worth remembering that, in addition to being a penitential season, Lent is a time for spiritual growth and renewal. The word Lent itself comes from the word for spring, the season when the days lengthen in the northern hemisphere. As of this writing, plans are still coming together for Lent 2021 here at Zion. By the time you receive this copy of The Voice, though, those plans will be up on the website, shared in the weekly Published Glad Tidings newsletter, and announced during our Zoom worship services.
        For now, though, I want to invite you into the spirit of the season of Lent by closing with one of my favorite poems by the 13th century Persian poet and mystic, Rumi. May this be the calling we all hear to the coming season of repentance and renewal.

                  Come, come, whoever you are
           Wandered, worshiper, lover of leaving --
                            it doesn't matter.
                 Ours is not a caravan of despair.
        Come, even if you have broken your vows a
                             hundred times.
                               Come again

Peace to you all,
Pastor Shari

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