I once heard about a Sunday School teacher who decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible, Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse. Little Rick was excited about the task, but he just couldn’t remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Rick was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, “The Lord is my Shepherd, and that’s all I need to know.”
This year for Lent I want to encourage you to “observe a Holy Lent”. Many think about giving up chocolate, soda, or some other vice during Lent. Fasting during Lent is a common practice which puts us in touch with the fact that we are not self-sufficient and need saving. Other Christians consider taking on a discipline during Lent. For example, attending or reading Morning Prayer before work. I have often taken on the discipline of working my way through a book in the Bible. As your priest, let me be clear about something. Whether you take something on or give something up is not the point. The point of Lent is to help facilitate your confidence in the incredible promise: “The Lord is my Shepherd, and that is all I need to know.”
Our full slate of services and programs provides us the opportunity to observe a Holy Lent, both individually and corporately this season. February 14th is Ash Wednesday. Nothing says Happy Valentine’s like a giant blotch of ash on your head and remembering that you are going to die. Calvary’s services will be at 8am, 12pm, and 6pm. Services at St. George’s Chapel will be at 8am and noon. Devotion Groups resume for Lent. You can sign up for one of these groups through our website. Finally, this Lent we will kick-off the first annual Muhlenberg Lectures. This year I am pleased to host my dear friend, The Reverend Dr. Victor Lee Austin. Victor currently serves as the theologian-in-residence for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas. He is a man of deep faith & Christian conviction and his teaching will be a blessing. So you do not want to miss it! You can go to our website, www.calvarystgeorges.org, for more information and tickets.
As Lent comes to an end, the days will be longer and hopefully slightly warmer. We will prepare ourselves for Easter by entering into the Passion of our Lord. On March 25th, Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday followed by Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil. Our Holy Week observance will once again include an overnight prayer watch after our Maundy Thursday service. Sign-ups will be available online and at the church. Easter Sunday: This year Easter will be on April 1st. This is no hoax; Jesus actually and literally rose from the dead. Join us and bring a friend to church as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and find out why the Gospel is anything but a hoax.
The liturgy, the beauty of palms, Easter flowers and music; help us journey out of the desert into the hope of Christ’s resurrection. Once again, I would be grateful if you would contribute to the additional costs involved. We rely on your generosity. On your check, please write in the memo Easter Offering. Thank you in advance for your financial support.
The Reverend Jacob A. Smith