Good morning, Restoration,
Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of Lent: a season of penitence, fasting, and prayer in preparation for Easter. We invite you to join us for one of our three Ash Wednesday services at 6:30am, *12pm, or *7:30pm in the sanctuary. (*Childcare for preschool and younger.)
The ash on our foreheads will be a sign of sorrow and repentance, and as we are marked, we will hear the words of God from Genesis 3:19, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” Like Adam and Eve, we have rebelled against God and are under the same judgment. The words and ash are a sobering reminder of our sinful humanity, and yet, the mark of ash mark is in the shape of a cross, reminding us of our forgiveness and the new life that we share in Jesus Christ. It is in this certain hope of redemption that we begin the journey of Lent.
Lent began in the early church as a time of preparation for those seeking to be baptized at Easter. The length of time, forty days, reminds us of the Lord’s time of fasting in the wilderness in preparation for his earthly ministry. You’ll notice we will fast from singing and saying “alleluia” – waiting until we can proclaim it with shouts of joy at the Great Vigil of Easter. We encourage you to consider giving up something else this Lent or perhaps adding a new practice that might help you draw nearer to the Lord in this season. (A few potential resources are listed below!)
On Saturday, March 4, from 8:45am – 12:00pm, we will offer a Lenten Morning Retreat in the sanctuary. We will share together in God’s word, worship and a time of quiet reflection on the glorious gift of being forgiven. Resto priests will be available for confession, using this liturgy from the BCP. If you’ve never confessed your sins to another, give this practice a try! It is wonderful to be reminded of God’s endless mercy and grace.
Journeying with you this Lent,
Resources for Kids & Teens:
- Lent Guide & Toolkit, for Babies through 5th graders (Ask Louise or Meredith for one on the 1st floor)
- God in the Margins: A Prayer Guide for Lent 2023 – An Apex devotional for teens, put together by Apex leaders (in basket on narthex table)
- Also, if you have a middle school student, we’d love for them to get to go to Breakaway, March 3-5, at Rockbridge in Goshen, VA. Register here and reach out to Ryan with any questions.
Resources for Adults:
- Resto Daily Reading & Prayer Guide (hard copy in basket on narthex table)
- The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent, by Aaron Damiani
- Lent: The Season of Repentance and Renewal (Fullness of Time, 1) by Esau McCaulley
- Show Me the Way, Daily Lenten Readings by Henri Nouwen
- An American Lent by The Repentance Project
- Trinity School for Ministry 2023 Lenten Devotional
- The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter by Sister Wendy Beckett
- Contemplating the Cross, by Tricia McCary Rhodes
- Three Hours, Sermons by Fleming Rutledge
- The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
O Lord our God, grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart: that desiring you, we may seek you; and that seeking you, we may find you; and that finding you, we may love you; and that loving you, we may hate those sins from which you have delivered us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– St. Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109