Lent 2018: Compassion
Dear Peachtree Road Family,
The days are getting longer, spring is drawing near, and the forty-day season of Lent is upon us. I always remember my granddaddy Arrington preparing his garden during this time of the year. He would begin by softening the ground and then digging up and plowing the soil. Finally, on Good Friday, he would plant new seeds in the ground in the hopes they would sprout and grow and produce good vegetables. Now, isn’t that what we are called to do during this spiritual season of preparation? We soften our hearts, dig down deep into our souls, and plant new seeds of God’s grace in the hopes they will sprout and grow and produce good fruit.
This year’s Lenten theme is “Compassion.” I have asked Ron Greer, the Director of the Pastoral Counseling Service here at Peachtree Road, to be our guide. He has recently authored a new book entitled The Path of Compassion: Living with Heart, Soul, and Mind, and I believe it will be an excellent resource for us as we consider the essence of compassion and how we look, feel, and listen from the heart. This season promises to be a time of significant spiritual growth for our church.
To help build on this theme of “Compassion,” I want to invite you to participate in five Lenten disciplines:
- Fasting — I will be practicing the Wesley Fast during this season by fasting at least one day each week. My goal is to not eat solid food from supper one day until supper the next day. John Wesley advocated fasting to the early Methodists as a way of making prayer more powerful and helping them to hear Christ’s voice more clearly. At the very least, I encourage you to fast on Ash Wednesday as we begin this holy season.
- Prayer — We have declared 2018 to be a year of prayer here at Peachtree Road. I encourage you to set aside regular time each day to pray and meditate. Consider this season as a time to grow spiritually by participating in the church’s prayer wall, signing up for the Holy Week prayer vigil, or becoming a part of a prayer group.
- Study — Our congregation is invited to read and study Ron’s book, The Path of Compassion, during this season. He will be speaking at a church-wide forum on Sunday, February 18, at 10:00 am in the Sanctuary. Make your plans to attend.
- Serve — Many people “give something up” for Lent. But, what about “taking something on”? What if you added something to your regular week this season and intentionally looked for ways to do something for others? Certainly, one way to serve is to join your friends at Peachtree Road for the 26th Annual Great Day of Service on Saturday, March 24. In addition, this year’s Lenten Offering, collected throughout the season, will go to support the local agencies with whom we partner in our community.
- Worship — Each week, beginning with Ash Wednesday, February 14, and culminating on Easter Sunday, April 1, we will gather together in worship to praise God, repent of our sins, pray for one another, and experience the life-giving grace of God. Look for a listing of the special opportunities for worship in this brochure.
I can think of no better way to prepare the soil of your soul for the celebration of Easter than by being a part of the ministry of Peachtree Road during this season. Come join us as we walk the path of compassion together.
Rev. Bill Britt