Wednesday | February 17
Rev. Carolyn Stephens
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5)
Today begins the season of Lent. This is a period of 40 days in which we are called again to consider deeply our mortality, to journey with Jesus as he sets his face to the cross, and to commit to dying and being reborn.
One of the most effective ways to live fully and intentionally into this season is to draw on the spiritual disciplines/practices that have been a part of the Christian tradition for centuries. These practices have helped to mold and shape the lives of the saints before us, and of so many great men and women of our time. When rightly engaged, spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, meditation, studying Scripture, simplicity, confession, worship, and more will transform our lives, making us better persons and more committed followers of Jesus Christ.
The theme we have chosen for this season is “Suffer and Grow Strong.” None of us is a stranger to suffering, and none of us is immune to it. And especially after the last year we have all been through, it would be fairly accurate to say we have all suffered, in one way or another. And while none of us would willingly choose to suffer because of the inherent hardship and pain associated with suffering, we do not have to become victims of it. We can actually grow strong and thrive because of what we have been through and endured.
Over the next six weeks, we will be sharing each day (except on Sundays, which are considered mini Easters) writings from different clergy members on this theme. You will be encouraged to let go – to let go of habits that limit or hinder your spiritual growth and wellbeing. You will be invited to immerse yourself into the practice of the faith – to go deeper and farther in living faithfully as believers. You will be challenged to take on new habits – practices that are life-giving and transforming on your faith journey. You will be inspired to grow – to grow strong and thrive as overcomers and followers of Jesus Christ.
So come along, and let us journey together. There are some journeys that we should never walk alone: suffering is one of them but also is growth.
Prayer: Lord, Jesus Christ, as we enter into these 40 days help us not to be afraid. You have already walked the path before us, and you know the way. We remember the words of the psalmist “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for you are with me.” We take these words as our own, knowing that you are faithful and you have promised never to leave or forsake.