Long ago the word Lent was used to identify the time of year when the light of day began to lengthen. The season of Lent in our church year marks a time when we lengthen or increase our knowledge and understanding about God and the depth of His love through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Light of the World. During these forty days, we have an opportunity to reflect, meditate, and grow spiritually. It is a time to renew our relationship with God and nurture our spirituality.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our children are watching. They are watching who and how we bless. They are watching who and how we curse. And as they watch us they are becoming the adults that our grandchildren will be watching.
Jesus emphasizes this reality when he tells us to put children in the center, to consider life from the children's perspective, or to let the little children come to him.
Recently our youth gathered for a conversation around how we learn who God is. We discussed how we can turn to the church, to scripture, and to any number of other resources for diving deeper into our conception of who God is. However what their experience (and our experience and observations) make clear is that it is our family that builds the foundation for how we think about the world and also about God.
Will our children come to know God, their father in heaven, as "gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love?" Will they come to understand God as a comforting mother, who desires to gather all her children under her care?
Yes, they will, if they experience us as parents and other adults in their world engaged in living lives of grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, compassion, and inclusivity. That is not easy. Especially when I am late, stuck in traffic, while in the backseat, 3 is crying, 2 is tattling on 1 who is likely doing the thing that 2 is complaining about. In those moments, when it would be so easy to lose my head, I am often and absurdly, filled with gratitude for my faith and for my church that gives me the practices and tools I need to know to breathe deep and remember that our children are watching.
The ELCA uses the three-year Revised Common Lectionary. The Vanderbilt University Library posts all weekly and special-occasion readings for the current year and the future.
Publications and other downloadable resources from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America