A Lent Message from the Bishop

A Lent Message from the Bishop

Dear Friends in Christ:

Once again, we enter the season of Lent hearing the Church’s invitation to us to make it an intentionally holy time. Basically, that means a consecrated time, time set apart, and dedicated to the work of deepening our relationship with God.

There are many ancient spiritual practices associated with this season, to assist us with that work. One of them is the practice of disciplined and prayerful reading of Scripture. With that in mind, I want to invite you to make the Bible Challenge the focus of your Lenten discipline. About one-third of all active adult members of the congregations of this diocese have embraced this Challenge to read the Bible through together in a year. We have been doing it for about a month now, and we have been blessed by this fresh encounter with important foundational stories of our faith, with profoundly moving and powerful Psalms and with the important witness of the Gospels. Everywhere I have been in this diocese in recent weeks someone has thanked me for making this Challenge. It has been hard work, and will get harder, but it has been deeply nourishing to the spiritual life of many of us.

My counsel to you about making good use of Lent is this: embrace the Bible Challenge. Use this time to start, if you haven’t yet; catch up, if you need to; go deeper with it through prayer and study and conversation with others, as you are able. Use the reflection questions. Extend the circle of your prayer and meditation. Look for connections in the news of the day, and the events in your life. And in all these things, make yourself available to God for the gift that God wants to give you.

This Lent, let us not try to do more. Instead, let us try to make better use of the things we already know to do by way of meaningful spiritual practice. I expect that your practice includes time with Scripture, and I hope that you will make use of the Bible Challenge.

In whatever you choose to make the focus of this season, I pray God’s blessing upon you that you will find this Lent to be a time of increasing spiritual strength; may it be a time when your experience of God’s love for you is greatly enriched.

Yours in the love of God,

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