This Sunday’s gospel lesson from the beginning of Mark sets out this dual motion clearly. First, at Jesus’ baptism, God expressed pleasure at who Jesus is—“You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Then, “immediately,” Jesus was driven into the wilderness to undergo testing by Satan for forty days, a ritual of prophetic self-knowledge.
Our forty days begin with the same affirmation: we are God’s well-loved children, in whom God takes great pleasure. And we are called to fuller, deeper self-awareness in order to become who God calls us to be.
The shift to Rite One in our worship is not meant to be “more penitential.” Rather, it is an opportunity to look and listen more closely to who we are and to explore who God calls us to become. It both links us to who we have been as a community of faith and points us toward where we are going, as it incorporates our youngest members into the fullness of our tradition.
The Wednesday experience during Lent has shifted this year also. In an effort to include those whose work and school may prevent them from attending a midday program, we are experimenting with an early evening format. Supper each week will begin at 5:15 p.m. and will be followed by a meditative musical program at 6 p.m. You should be home soon after 7 p.m., and a nursery will be provided.
Please remember, every change we make is meant to be a test, an examination of who we are and how we are changing and growing together as the people God calls us to become.