Lent: Full to the Brim

Beginning with Ash Wednesday Service on February 14th

The traditional iterations of the liturgical season Lent often emphasize restraint, confession, and piety. Often people will talk about what they are “giving up” for Lent – sometimes alcohol, or sweets, or some bad habit. The origins of Lent in the early church were that one was to leave their old life behind to fast and prepare to be baptized into a new way of living. In essence, this was a practice of stepping away from the rat race, corrupt power, scarcity mentality, and empty rituals in order to live a more expansive and full life of faith.

We, the people who have largely already experienced baptism and new life in Jesus come to Lent with a bit of tension – we have experienced some of that new life already – but perhaps not in full. We are people of the promise who are still finding our way – sometimes messing up and having to course correct our lives, sometimes we are figuring out the next steps in the call of God on our lives. Lent provides us with some space for reflection on where we have come from, and what God invites us into.

And so, with our theme this year “Full to the Brim” we are trusting in the promise of our baptisms—God has already claimed us as God’s own and nothing we can do will ever change or erase that. Full to the Brim doesn’t ignore or deny sin and suffering. It doesn’t absolve accountability for wrongdoing. Instead, it contextualizes our faith. If love is our beginning, how can we live our lives led by love’s promises? It reminds us to live fully—as we pursue justice and hope, or express grief and gratitude. 

And so, this Lent, let us trust—fully—that we belong to God.

Let us increase our capacity to receive and give grace.

Let us discover once more the expansive life God dreams for us.

Blessings and light, Pastor Renée

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First Presbyterian Church SL