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Lent is a Personal Journey, by David Fulk

Well, it’s that time of year again. After Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, we are now journeying through Lent toward Holy Week and Easter.

My first experience with Lent was in high school when I attended church in Weston. From there, my understanding of the season expanded as I came to William Jewell and 2BC. But it was during my five years as the interim music director at Grace Episcopal Church here in Liberty that I came to deeply love this season.

In our culture of immediate gratification, perfection, and exuberant happiness, the Lenten season calls us to cut through these veneers with honesty about our relationship with God to realize we are not perfect, that we are called not only to follow, but to defer, surrender, and humble ourselves.

We deliberately sing songs in minor keys, in slower, more thoughtful, tempos. We read scriptures on suffering and pray prayers of confession with pleas for forgiveness. All of this is designed to help us prepare for the pain and suffering Jesus endured in Holy Week—for us.

And in doing so, we will then feel the joy and exultation of Easter morning. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s early into Lent—still time to get our thinking and emotions prepared. Here are some ways to do it. Be intentional. Do acts of kindness, deny yourself some pleasure, create a personal time for silent reflection and prayer. In all things do more listening than talking. While many of these activities are designed to be done privately, there are also opportunities to be on this journey with others.

Wednesday Evensongs will enrich our season with prayer, singing, and reflection. One of my favorite things to do in Lent is attending fish fry dinners at St. James parish. It’s a time to be with friends and other people of faith also on this journey. Give it a try…every other Friday (Feb.23, March 9 and 23, serving 5-8 p.m.). It can be crowded, but it’s worth the good food, fellowship, and the hospitality of the Knights of Columbus. Maybe this will be the year I actually have buttons made proclaiming, “I’m a Fish Fry Baptist!”

at Friday, February 23, 2018 | 0 comments
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The Changing Faces of Lent by Becky Gossett

There is no season I appreciate  more than the Lenten Season.  I am grateful for the sensitive planning of our Second Baptist leadership each year.

As a child in a Baptist church, we didn’t celebrate Lent, and I was confused by the experiences of my Catholic friends during this time of year.  (What? Ashes? Fish? You gave up WHAT?)  Over the last several years, I’ve embraced all I’ve learned about Lent and the ways we participate at 2BC. I’ve grown in my understanding of many important pieces of the “Easter Story” and allowed myself to feel the excitement, sadness, joy, and deep love embedded within it.

For several years, I “gave up” certain foods during Lent. This may seem like a small thing, but for me, it was a big thing. When I  passed up these foods,  I was reminded of a much bigger sacrifice that was made for me.  I moved on from that at some point over the years and instead I began adding rather than giving up something.  One thing I added was an early morning study/devotional time. I began other routines that not only reminded me of the bigger sacrifice but also of the love and joy of the season.  

A few years ago, Evensong became an important way I participate with others to deepen my commitment to growth during Lent.  Quiet, reflective, informative… all of these words describe Evensong for me.

Holy Week might be my favorite week of the year.  Walking through each critical event of the week-- some with enthusiasm and some with tears-- allows me to have the right celebratory mindset for Easter morning.

Lent is very personal for me, and for different reasons each year.  Always, the season brings me to a new, fresh place in my faith.
at Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | 0 comments
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Thoughts on Lent by Jeff Buscher

When I think of the sacrifice that Christ made for us, I’m humbled beyond description, and so when I consider the Christian tradition of giving something up for Lent, I’m overwhelmed. I think to myself, “What small sacrifice on my part even begins to reflect the sacrificial love demonstrated by our Lord?” Please hear me; I am not suggesting this practice is futile, rather I am saying that its all in the meaning we attach to this reflective time of thoughtfulness and preparation.

In my search for meaning for this season, I went back to the teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Francis’ powerful conversion caused him to abandon a comfortable lifestyle and live a life of humility, simplicity, and contemplation. His life continues to inspire believers today. Lent was one of Saint Francis’ favorite times of the Christian year. In fact, he practiced two other times of forty-day periods throughout the rest of the year to continue the practices of purposeful reflection, sacrifice and prayer. As I think about Lent, I am more comfortable realizing that maybe this time of thoughtful sacrifice, might lead us toward a more permanent lifestyle change that brings us closer to the life Jesus would want us to live.

An example that rings true for me is the realization of our cultural setting of capitalism, consumerism, commercialism, free enterprise, call it what you want. Because this way of life is so central to our society, it makes sense that the idea of giving something up for Lent comes across as a step in a spiritual direction. As I think of my life-journey on a larger scale, could I give something up permanently, instead of giving something up for Lent? By taking steps to simplify our lives, we unclutter our immediate surroundings and create space for the things that are spiritually significant: our relationship with God, with persons and with God’s creation.    



at Friday, February 16, 2018 | 0 comments
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