In Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Alice meets the smiling Cheshire Cat at a crossroads. He was watching her from the limbs of a nearby tree. Alice asked the cat which road she should take. He replied that it depended on where she wanted to go. Alice told him she wasn’t going in any particular direction. The Cheshire Cat’s reply was simple: “Then, any road will do!”
I am always amazed at how many of us have the same “Alice” attitude when it comes to our spiritual life. Christians throughout the years proclaimed that the road we take DOES matter! The spiritual road is to be an intentional journey that leads us to a deeper knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ, with ourselves, and with others. It is a journey that transforms, renews, and brings life abundant more clearly into focus as we walk it, step by step. Our spiritual journey continues throughout our lives, and can take many surprising twists and turns along the way.
Easter is the highest, holiest day of the Christian year. It is the day we celebrate the risen Christ. The early church set aside forty days prior to Easter, a time we call “Lent,” as a time of spiritual preparation. For many centuries Christians have spiritually prepared themselves before Easter with the intentional practice of Spiritual Disciplines like Bible study, prayer, and fasting. While many people engaged in individual practices of preparation, the church also engaged in corporate practices.
How are you preparing for Easter – have you even given it any thought, beyond considering giving up a favorite food or planning that shopping trip to buy new Easter clothes? The road you take DOES matter! I invite you to participate in our All Church Study of Adam Hamilton’s “Final Words” as part of your Lenten practice this year. Even better, join a small group for the study. Sunday worship will give us an opportunity to continue that journey together, as a congregation. Pastor Nikki and I will be preaching on that same All Church Study. This kind of focused study helps bring the Scriptures alive – you won’t want to miss a Sunday! Lenten worship begins Sunday, March 10th.
Another way to prepare for Easter is to participate in the various special Lenten services, which are listed in this newsletter. These special services make our journey towards Easter richer, as they point us to Jesus’ sacrifice, and how that sacrifice ended in victory over death for each one of us.
I challenge you to seriously consider taking a new and different spiritual road this Lent – one that will help you explore and experience the richness of God’s mercy as you study God’s Word. Listen, watch, pray, and be ready to witness what God will have done with your gift of yourself to Christ this Lenten season.
See you in worship!
Yours for the Journey,