As we deal with the stress and strain of our hectic world, the church calendar with its certain ebbs and flows help keep me grounded in Christ and His Church. The Church year begins the season with Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas. It then celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at Christmas and the 12 days following. We then come to “The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ,” the light of Christ has come to the world and the darkness shall not overcome it. We move from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday, you are dust and to dust shall you return; and the 40 days of lent.
“Lent is the most important time of the year to nurture our inner life. It is the time during which we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus, but also the death and resurrection that constantly takes place within us. Life is a continuing process of the death of the old and the familiar, and being reborn again into a new hope, a new trust and a new love. The death and resurrection of Jesus therefore is not just an historical event that took place a long time ago. But an inner event that takes place in our own heart when we are willing to be attentive to it. True repentance is an interior attitude in which we are willing to let go of everything that prevents us from growing into spiritual maturity, and there is hardly a moment in our lives in which we are invited to detach ourselves from certain ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of acting, that for a long time gave us energy, but that always again need to be renewed and recreated.
Lent offers a beautiful opportunity to discover the mystery of Christ within us. It is a gentle but also demanding time. It is a time of solitude but also community. It is a time of listening to the voice within, but also a time paying attention to other people’s needs. It is a time to continuously make the passage to new inner life as well as to life with those around us.
When we live Lent attentively and gently, then Easter can truly be a celebration during which the full proclamation of the risen Christ will reverberate into the deepest place of our being.”
(Written by Henri J.M. Nouwen, September 1996)
Grays Harbor has been blessed for 70 years to have a mid-week Lenten Lunch and worship service, with the entire community invited to share a simple but delicious lunch of homemade soup and bread and a holy time of worship together. This year schedule is lunch at 11:30 a.m. followed by the service at noon.
• Ash Wednesday, Feb. 13, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal with Dale McQueen
• Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Aberdeen Presbyterian with Doug Basler
• Wednesday, Feb. 27, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal with Linda Milks
• Wednesday, March 6, at Aberdeen Presbyterian with Willem Romeijn
• Wednesday, March 13, at United Christian with Dale McQueen
• Wednesday, March 20, at Hoquiam Methodist with Doug Basler
• Good Friday, March 29, at St. Andrew’s with David Monsen
May God bless each of you and the Grays Harbor Community.
In Christ Service and Love
Father Dale McQueen is from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.