St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Lent 1Lenten reflection by Sister Joan Chittister
A Summons to Live Anew
Lent is a call to weep for what we could have been and are not.
Lent is the grace to grieve for what we should have done and did not.
Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not.
Lent is about becoming and doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fulness of life in us right now.
Lent is a summons to live anew.
The first challenge of Lent is to open ourselves to life. When we “rend our hearts” we break them open to things we are refusing for some warped reason to even consider. We have refused for years, perhaps, to even think about renewing old commitments that we’ve allowed to go to dust – spending time with the children, visiting out parents, exercising, taking time to read good books. We’ve closed our minds maybe, to the thought of reconciling with old friends whom we have hurt. We’ve refused to put the effort into reviving old spiritual practices like meditation in the morning or the memorization of the psalms, that we allowed to die in our youth but failed to substitute for as we aged. We’ve failed to repent old abrasions, quick words, harsh judgments made in haste and expiated never. We have closed the doors of our hearts, as time went by, to so many of the things we need to live full and holy lives. Lent is the time to let life in again, to rebuild the worlds we’ve allowed to go sterile, to ‘fast and weep and mourn’ for the goods we’ve foregone. If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again.
Then as the prophet Joel promises (2:1-2, 12-17) God will have pity on us and pour into our hearts the life we know deep down we are lacking.

Sunday, Lent 1 A Adult Class – The theology of Paul
We will begin this Sunday at 9:30 AM in the parish hall. We will look at major themes in Paul’s thought and letters. If you think you hate Paul as a corrupter of Jesus’ simple ethical commands, you might re-think that. If you think you can’t stand him for being a misogynist, I urge you to look more carefully. Paul is misread, misheard, and misunderstood every week across our country – but Paul himself is pretty wonderful, and no friend of fundamentalism. We will look tomorrow at his vision of Jesus Christ as “the new Adam”, convenient since the Epistle tomorrow is Roman 5:12-19 one of the texts in which he expounds this idea.



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