As we enter the season of Lent, I’m reminded about being reminded! That’s right, I’m reminded to remember some wonderful things: What Lent was like in the parish in which Emily and I were raised; what it means to give myself over more completely to Jesus; what it feels like to journey (with deep purpose) through forty days of repentance and self-denial; and, above all, what it should mean to me that Jesus has invited me along for the journey.
As Saints Mary and Martha Church continues to take its first steps down a road filled with prayer and service, the invitation of Jesus should resound all the more clearly in our hearts and minds. We are a people who have committed themselves to gathering regularly around the Word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture and the holy Sacraments – especially Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We hear that invitation week after week and day by day (as we pray Morning and Evening Prayer in our homes). In those moments in which God speaks to us in Scripture and Sacrament, we can rest assured that the invitation is being renewed to each of us.
“Are you with me?” (the theme of this year’s Lenten journey) is the fundamental question that echoes down the ages from the first moment God interacted with man. It’s a question that reaches its climax (over and over again) in the invitation of Jesus to take up our crosses and follow him. No matter who we are, where we are, what we are doing, what we are thinking, this is the question that Jesus is pressing us to answer. God gives us the gift of Lent that we might be reminded of the invitation issued to us in Christ Jesus, that we might act upon it again and again, ever more deeply.
May this Lenten season be a reminder in your life. May our Lord use it to fill your heart and mind with the knowledge of him who saves and renews us. And may his grace encompass you in these forty days and nights of prayerful journeying!
Father Todd Boyce, MSJ
Vicar, Saints Mary and Martha Anglican Church
Mount Sterling, Kentucky