Christmas is barely packed away yet Lent will soon be upon us. The calendar of the Christian year is like that sometimes, not in sync with our rhythms and expectations. But ready or not, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day this year. Never mind that Easter is April 1st—April Fool’s Day (no joke!)
Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day seem to have nothing in common. But the fact is—it’s really all about love. God’s love for us and all the ways that love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Thus our Advent/Christmas theme God So Loves the World segues into our Lenten theme: Love God/Love Creation.
We will draw on Scripture and the worship resources of the season, our United Methodist Bishops’ study God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action, Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, and our April Book Study Book Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice by Sharon Delgado.
An old hymn sings: …dear to God is the earth Christ trod. No place but is holy ground. (From “This Is My Father’s World”) From Jesus’ Temptation in the wilderness where Lent begins to the Tree of Calvary where he dies, and down into the earth of the tomb from which he will be raised up, Christ’s life and mission hallow the Creation, lament its peril, and celebrate the day of restoration. Let us journey together through Lent 2018 and find ourselves on the other side of the grave with renewed dedication as stewards of the earth.
It’s really all about love. No joke!