Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Newsletter Article from Dr. Sam Matthews

The season of Lent begins in just a few days now, on Ash Wednesday, February 25th. Thus begins the forty days (excluding Sundays) of our spiritual journey toward Easter. The theme of our journey this year continues the one which we adopted last fall for the stewardship emphasis (Will You Grow?) and continued in the month of January (Will you grow in Covenant?). Our theme in Lent is, “Will you grow toward the Cross?”

Our church will afford us numerous opportunities to grow toward the cross, to grow in spiritual discipline, in self-denial, in sacrifice, and I encourage you to participate in them.

We are encouraged to read together Henri Nouwen’s powerful Show Me the Way, a collection of daily Lenten readings. Daily on the church’s website, some designated “bloggers” will post their reflections of the daily readings and our members will be able to add comments as well. We should have a wonderful electronic conversation about our journey together toward the cross. (Copies of Nouwen’s book are available from Amazon, and we will have copies available soon for purchase.)

We will also offer some coordinated material for Sunday School classes to use during the season. We did this during Covenant month in January and the classes choosing to participate reported an enthusiastic response.

My sermons during the month will be draws from the Psalms. I don’t think I’ve ever preached an entire series from the Psalms and I look forward to exploring their richness with you.

Of course, one symbolic act of sacrifice during Lent is our practice of “giving up” some pleasure or in taking on some additional task during the forty days. I encourage you to think about that small but significant gesture as well.

The season promises great richness and fullness. I am committed to grow closer during those days to being the person God would have me be. What about you? Will you, too, grow toward the cross?

I’ll see you this Sunday.

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