On Wednesday, March 2, we will begin the journey through the Season of Lent. I do not know about you, but I believe the timing of Lent is timely in our world right now. With the continued complexities of Covid, raising conflicts within congregations, the wars ensuing in Ukraine and other places, the probable postponement of the 2020 General Conference, we need a time to spiritually pause.
I would suggest this Season of Lent cannot be a perfunctory act of giving up a cookie (however, if that is your beginning sacrifice, start where you can). I believe this season of Lent, must be different if we are really going to see a difference in the world. The Season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, is symbolized with ashes and a sign of the cross to remind us, “from dust we are, and to dust we shall return.” The journey is one of introspection and reconnection. The time where we “give up” or “take on” as a means of sacrifice, not for social media platforms, but for the inner search and recommitment to The One who loved us first and loves us most. This is also a journey to reconnect to God, through spiritual disciplines, to reclaim God’s truths and our response to God’s Grace.
During this time of our lives, there are so many things we are unable to control, and I know it is raising many levels of anxiety and frustration. However, what we cannot control, can be refocused on what is most important and our commitments to the changes we can achieve. During this Season of Lent, I invite us to take the journey with intention. I invite us to truly look within and seek where God is calling us out. I invite us to share in spiritual practices that revive to our discipleship pathway to indeed be reminded of what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. This is the opportunity to pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our “wicked” ways (paraphrased from 2 Chronicles 7:14). I would even invite you to join us in our Lenten Luncheon Lessons, beginning March 9 at Noon (Lent In Plain Sight) or begin with the Lenten Devotional provided by the Indiana Annual Conference.
We need Lent right now so that when we emerge in over forty (40) days, the daily transformation from us individually will be experienced as a collective transformation for God’s Kin-dom. This is my prayer for which the author is unknown…“Almighty and ever-living God, you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent. May this time be one of outward focus; seeking you in those we often ignore…”
In Service and on Mission,
Rev. Dr. Aleze M. Fulbright
Conference Superintendent serving Central and West Districts