Lutheran Church of Elmont
Dear Friends in Christ:
We are in Lent from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday.
I feel sorry for churches that do not follow the liturgical year. They are usually stuck on whatever the preacher wants to talk about again and again, or on some march through obscure books of the Bible—the fifth of our seven part series on the book of Ezra. On the other hand, every week in the season after Epiphany we got a fresh look at Jesus and his deeds in the Gospel text, and an epistle text that developed at least one of the themes of the Gospel text, and an Old Testament reading and psalm to boot. We do not set this up on our own. Part of our participation in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church is our use of the lectionary in common with Roman Catholics and mainstream Protestants.
As we move into Lent, the focus moves to the cross. The necessity of the cross, the inevitability of the cross, the chosen nature of the cross, the road to the cross, the temptations to avoid the cross, etc. In the background of the cross is the fallen nature of sinful human beings—a fallen nature which makes the cross the only way forward.
Lent starts with Ash Wednesday where we begin the journey of repentance with the recognition that our short term future is death. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” When death finally takes us, we can complain and protest all we want, but we cannot say it is undeserved. I have earned it, and so have you.
Yours in Christ,
John Shepherd McKenzie