The Lenten Way

Many of us look at the Lenten season as a period of self-denial.  But do we think about the meaning of the season beyond that?  What does our self-denial mean on our spiritual journey?  Rather than mulling over just what you’re going to give up for Lent that will be significant enough, yet not too inconvenient, this year think about how to prepare yourself for spiritual reflection during Lent.

During the 40 days of Lent, our worship at NACC is going to focus on a return to ancient practices.  In Brian McLaren’s book, Finding Our Way Again, the author focuses on the ancient practices many Christians have returned to as a way of tending to their souls.

“This book – together with the series of books it introduces – explores this fresh alternative, this fourth way beyond three unacceptable alternatives.  It seeks to bring ancient practices to bear on the emerging world.  It reaches towards an alternative beyond a reductionistic secularism, beyond reactive and intransigent fundamentalism, and beyond a vague, consumerist spirituality.”

As when we throw open our windows to the spring air after months of being closed tight against winter, we open our souls to the possibilities God holds for us during this season.  We reflect on the past and prepare for the future.  As we clear out the clutter in our homes with a good spring cleaning, so should we clear out the clutter in our souls.

Each week, NACC will host discussions around the “Return of the Ancient Practices” series of books. We will begin our Lent services Wednesday, March 9 with our Ash Wednesday service at 7 p.m.  The first Sunday of Lent is Sunday, March 13. We will also engage in the ancient practice of Walking the Labyrinth the second, third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent. On Good Friday, from 4 p.m. to midnight, we will be walking through the Stations of the Cross.

A guide to all of our activities will be available at the Sunday, March 6th service, the Shrove Tuesday dinner and our Ash Wednesday service. We hope these activities and discussions will help prepare you for a deeper spirituality and make this Lenten season more meaningful to us as a community of faith.

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