Greetings All God’s Children MCC family,
Welcome to the incredibly reflective, life-giving, life-renewing and life-sustaining season of Lent. The overall theme for Lent this year at All God’s Children MCC is Transformed … by Divine Encounters.
Lent is a time for soul-searching, meditation, and self-reflection … a time to reflect on the relevance of your relationship with God and what it means for YOU to live as the Beloved of God as we embrace life with all its changes and uncertainties. When facing and dealing with these realities, few spiritual practices are more important than the practice of listening … listening to ourselves, listening to others, and listening to God.
We will begin our 40-day journey of Lent, excluding Sundays, with Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday, the sanctuary will be available from Noon-5pm for self-guided worship, meditation and prayer. For those who are interested in the imposition of ashes on your forehead or hand, Pastor Kenny and a ministry team will be available in the church parking lot for Ash & Dash between 5-7pm. Pastor Kenny will also be available for the imposition of ashes during the day. This spiritual practice is a vivid and tangible reminder of our need for God, our mortality, and our dependence on the grace and transforming love of God, and the realization and power of Jesus’ resurrection.
Sunday worship during Lent will reflect a little Easter celebration as we anticipate the joyful and jubilant celebration of Easter. The altar and sanctuary will be decorated with purple tones and candles reminding us of our Lenten journey. In our sacred texts we will hear stories of people’s lives completely transformed as they encounter Jesus in their everyday ordinary lives. Our theme song will be There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place by Doris Akers … Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove, stay right here with us, filling us with Your love. And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise; without a doubt we’ll know that we have been revived, when we shall leave this place.
Each day during Lent, a devotion will be available with the theme: Listening with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind.
The devotions are offered as a daily spiritual practice and time of reflection as we journey through Lent. Each Sunday will set the tone for the week’s theme. Every other day of the week will begin with a Scripture or a quote, followed by a reflection, and then Making it Personal questions, which provide an opportunity for you to reflect on the readings as they relate to your own life and spiritual journey. You might want to purchase a journal or spiral notebook to write down important thoughts, feelings, or insights.
However you choose to use the devotions and other spiritual offerings this Lent, my hope is that you feel supported in your desire to live more fully into your faith and identity as the Beloved of God, in a way that is transformative, inspirational and deeply renewing.
By being attentive, by learning to listen, or recovering the natural capacity to listen which cannot be learned any more than breathing, we can find ourselves engulfed in such happiness that it cannot be explained; the happiness of being at one with everything in that hidden ground of Love for which there can be no explanation.
-Thomas Merton, The Hidden Ground of Love
Blessings for a joyous and meaningful Lent.
-Pastor Kenny Callaghan