[Lent] calls us back to God, back to basics, back to the spiritual realities of life. It calls on us to put to death the sin and the indifference we have in our hearts toward God and our fellow persons. And it beckons us once again to enter once again into the joy of the Lord—the joy of a new life born out of a death to the old life.
-Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time
A couple of years ago, I recall having an issue with my smartphone; it slowed down to the point where even sending a text message was difficult. I quickly learned what the problem was…the phone was completely out of storage. I had loaded it up with so many apps, music, pictures, messages, etc., that it was no longer able to function properly. So, in order to fix the problem, I had to clear everything by “restoring the factory settings.” I had to get rid of all the clutter and go “back to basics,” so that my device could work as intended.
Our lives can be a little bit like this. We pack so many things into our schedules, we say “Yes” to so many things, that sometimes it can be hard for us to function properly, as the people God created us to be. As a former professor of mine used to say, the biggest idol we worship is the idol of the “overbooked schedule.” Given this reality, I think we need the season of Lent, now more than ever. In the quote above from Robert Webber, he says that Lent is an opportunity for us to go “back to basics, back to the spiritual realities of life.” Or in other words, Lent gives us the chance to “restore our factory settings.” Lent directs our attention toward a God who created us in love, redeemed us by the blood of Jesus, and sustains us by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our lives are complex, and there are so many things competing for our attention. And yet, Lent invites us to place God at the center, so that we might once again discover who we are, and to whom we belong.
By the time you read this, we will be a couple weeks into the Lenten season. As our community continues our journey toward the cross, I want to make sure you’re aware of the happenings here at PPC over the next few weeks.
2018 Lenten Project: This year during Lent, our community Is lifting up one of our mission partners, Cameron Community Ministries. Our church will be collecting items for their food pantry, our Sunday School kids will be gathering supplies for their after-school program, and we will be using our mission dollars to help Cameron launch new programming for teenagers in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood.
Holy Week Worship: During Holy Week, we have the opportunity to encounter the story of how God saved the world through the person of Jesus Christ. In particular, I want to call your attention to our Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services, both at 7:30PM in the PPC sanctuary. I find these services to be the most powerful moments I have in worship all year.
May the peace of Christ be yours this Lenten Season,