Dear Friends in Christ,
“Listen, listen, God is calling, through the Word inviting, offering forgiveness, comfort, and joy." (ELW #513)
The holy season of Lent is upon us and I have to say that this is my favorite time of year. I have many fond memories of attending midweek dinners and services as a child, I love singing the more intense hymns, and I love the build up of Holy Week into Easter.
Maybe because of my opera background I'm drawn to the dramatic stories and lush music. I just can't get enough of "Oh Sacred Head Now Wounded." I remember sitting at the piano as a small child and trying to clunk through those thick chords. I also love that we are called to simplify our lives during these next 40 days and to reach out to our neighbors and friends in need. Matt Jensen summed it up best at our Shrove Tuesday supper when we he said that it wasn't just an evening about using up all of the butter, eggs and milk in anticipation of the fasting for Lent but it was also an evening to unplug and connect with your neighbors because if you don't have community everything else slowly falls apart.
This season is filled with wonderful hymns that are part of our rich history. The texts are filled with beautiful images, powerful calls to prayer, reflection and the call to journey with Christ. This Sunday you will also hear a new liturgy and I think the more contemplative sounding harmonies will only enhance your worship experience. We will also be chanting the psalm and singing the Lord's Prayer together each week. One melody lifted up together to the Lord with many voices. In our midweek services we will be taking a closer look at some very powerful hymns that were born out of sorrow. These amazing people took some horribly dark situations in life and found the light in them. I promise that you will never look at these pieces the same way again after praying and meditating on the texts each week. I look forward to worshipping together with you during these next 40 days.
As a treat our children will be sharing a song with you after The Children's Message. They have been practicing very hard each week with our fabulous Sunday School teachers.