Loving and Lent

Congratulations! You’ve made it to February and there’s a celebration of love on the horizon. That isn’t all. Lent is hot on Valentine Day’s heels. So on February 14th, we celebrate Valentine’s Day (if you celebrate that day) and also enter into a holy observation of Lent.

It’s appropriate a day celebrating love should be named after a saint. Jesus told his disciples that love characterized his disciples (John 13:35). In his letter (1 John), John focuses on Jesus’ message of love. The love John addresses isn’t a Valentine’s Day kind of love with Hallmark movies, candy, a nice dinner, or cards. John’s describes a tough love because Jesus’ love is tougher than the most hardened heart. Jesus’ love is so tough he was able to endure the pain of the cross for us! He gave up his life so we could live.

The sermon focus for the first two Sunday’s in February will be on how we might love others when loving others is hard.

February 14th also marks the start of the holy season of Lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday when we “remember that we are from dust and to dust we will return.” You are invited to observe a Holy Lent through prayer, reflection, and denial.

Our Lenten sermon focus will be on shifting from where we are, to where we desire to be. The sermon series will be called “Shift” and we will see how we shift…

…From Death to Life
…From A Slave to A Child
…From Seen to Unseen
…From Asking to Listening
…From Isolation to Connection
…From Sheep to Shepherds

I hope one of your Lenten practices will be joining with your community of faith at St. Paul for worship, encouragement, and prayer.