Lent 2022 – Hope

This year we bring the lens of hope to our Lenten work of prayer, reflection, and preparation.  It is a theme that resonates through the Biblical story and in our own times too.  Hope was in the whispers of the people of Israel who dared to wonder if Jesus was the one to bring restoration and possibility.  Hope was what brought the shepherds to the stable, led the fishers to throw down their nets, compelled the throngs out into the wilderness, and gave courage to all who sought out Jesus for healing and wholeness.

Hope is no small thing.  Buffeted by forces and times beyond us, hope not only provides that which enables us to survive, it inspires the kind of thinking, imagination, and action that helps us to thrive.  Hope doesn’t ignore or forget challenge or suffering it allows what was learned in the midst of such things or the blessings discovered to be applied and incorporated that life moving forward might be deeper, richer, and even more joy-filled.

This Lent is in a truly liminal time.  We are emerging from the season of winter with the hope of spring.  Signs also indicate that we are likely emerging from the harshest grip of the pandemic too.  This has been a hard time when so much has felt beyond us.  It has been a time of suffering and discovery, of challenge and resilience, a time of separation and profound connection.

As we emerge, hope will help us to honor the real hardship while also incorporating the blessings and insights of these times just as it has done for people of faith for millennia.  Worship will be grounded firmly in hope.  The Old Testament stories drip with hope and they will be the basis for my preaching.  The Gospel stories reveal hope through the stories of Jesus and they will be front and center in our time with the children (of all ages).
In this e-mail you will find opportunities for engagement and connection.  I encourage you to bring and share your own stories and understanding of hope.  This is an undertaking of many including Christian Education, the Deacons, Music, and more.  I am so looking forward to the chance to encounter this Lenten journey together!

For more information about the Annual Lenten Study and “Forty Days of Hope: A Lenten Devotional,” click here.