lent - grace changes everything
Grace is God’s way of being in the world. To contemplate grace is to focus our attention on God’s presence and activity in and around us. Lent and the texts for this season are full of invitation to contemplate in an active way – by taking on disciplines that will help us encounter Jesus.
In the stories, Jesus speaks out to stop us in our tracks, challenge our way of life, and reorient us with the power of grace. Each week we will
ponder a practice of the faith life that can help us live graciously and witness more openly and honestly.
In the Cycle of Blessing we will be learning how to create grace margins. “The Grace Margin is the intentional stretched space between the safe
or comfort] and fear zones. This is the place where we withhold judgment and forgo power relationships temporarily, so that people can build trusting relationships across legal and political barriers, and can discern the truth together, listening to each other’s perspectives.”
(Holy Currencies, p. 97)
Lent is a kind of “grace margin” – a space in the life of the church where truth can live and people can grow in grace. Let’s practice that together!
Our Stories of Grace
Lent at West Linn Lutheran in 2016
February 10 - ASH WEDNESDAY: 7:00-8:00 a.m. Ashes Available in Church; NOON and 7:00 pm Worship Services at Church
February 14, February 17, February 24, March 2, 9, 16
- LENT MIDWEEK ACTIVITIES:
March 20 - PALM/PASSION SUNDAY - Holy Week begins
February 13 – Lent 1C Consider Confessing
Jesus took time, dwelling in the wilderness, to face the temptations that challenge the world in every time and place. For Jesus’ answers to make sense, we must consider confessing what keeps us wandering in the wilderness, and our need to follow him out. He will lead us into the grace margins.
February 21 – Lent 2C Willingly Gather
There is no safer place for frantic chicks than under the strong wing of their mother hen! We, too, can find our way out of the fear zone and into the grace margin when we willingly gather with Christ and Christ’s people. The blessing of safety provides us time to notice grace.
February 28 – Lent 3C Cultivate Character
Human nature wants to make a direct connection between sin and consequences. Jesus sees room for growth in all human lives. “When different perspectives are on the table (in discerning the truth), a gracious leader invites people to decide what is the right thing to do, given what is known.” (HC, p. 97) Dig deep, and we will bear fruit! And we will be better for it!
March 6 – Lent 4C Practice Peacemaking
“God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, … has given us the ministry of reconciliation.”
(2 Cor. 5:18) How many ways is that ministry exercised in the parable that Jesus tells about a family that may not be so different from ours! Peacemakers see grace in the faces of those they seek to reconcile.
March 13 – Lent 5C Recycle Rubbish
More than once Jesus’ disciples are shocked by the way people outside their circle see Jesus and embrace his ministry. What they consider rubbish – someone’s offering, someone’s sickness, someone’s age –
is received and embraced by Christ, and then repurposed in the world. If Christ does that for us, what should we be doing for those who are poor, for those lacking dignity, and for ourselves? Recycle!