OPINION

Perry Ministerial Association to share weekly reflections in place of Lenten services

Rev. Andrea Brownlee - First Christian Church
Members of the Perry Ministerial Association will be sharing a weekly reflection with the community in place of the Tuesday Lenten services. Up first is a column from First Christian Church.

From Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) until Holy Saturday (April 3) we find ourselves in the season of Lent. In the early days of the Church, the season of Lent was a time of preparation for new converts as they readied their hearts to enter Christian Baptism on Easter Sunday. Since these new members were to be received into a living community of Faith, the entire community was called to preparation. Also, this was the time when those who had been separated from the Church would prepare to rejoin the community of Faith.

Today, the season of Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, self-examination, and penitence for all Christians as we prepare to celebrate Easter. Through this 40-day journey, we are reminded that we are totally unworthy before God, that we have nothing with which we can obtain salvation, and that our best efforts at being righteous fall far short. But God continues to love us anyway and gives of opportunities to keep trying and working at living lives worthy of the love which God so freely gives!

The season reminds us how much we need grace in our lives in order to live a transformed life that reflects God’s love. We are called to renew our commitments and our faith as we continually acknowledge our need of God’s transforming presence with us.

We will not be having our weekly Tuesday Lenten service and lunch, but rather members of the Perry Ministerial Association will be sharing a weekly reflection with the community here in this space. We invite you if you feel inclined to send an offering or donation to the Good Samaritan Fund that supports our community outreach and assistance program. Those donations can be sent to Perry Ministerial Association P.O. Box 156 Perry, Iowa 50220.

Lent is an opportunity for us to repent. Or in other words it is a time to return to God and re-focus our lives to be more in line with Jesus. It is a time to intentionally work on allowing God to change our hearts. “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right[a] spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing[b] spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12 If nothing else, I invite you to prayer theses three verses of Psalm 51 throughout these 40 days of Lent.

Blessings on this journey, Pastor Andrea - First Christian Church