Welcome to The Hero’s Journey,
Welcome to Lent 2021. Last night we began our Lenten journey with Ash Wednesday, marking a 40-day journey with Jesus to Jerusalem, the cross, and resurrection. This year we will dig deep into the lectionary gospel stories when Jesus predicts his death, and connect those stories with the baptismal vows we take in the United Methodist Church. We will go on a journey with Jesus creatively expressed as a virtual multi-player adventure called The Hero’s Journey, and the intergenerational, multi-racial group of people participating who want to take The Vows and become the hero of the quest. The journey will require all of us to recognize that the vows of baptism require much more of us daily than we often realize. Watch The Hero’s Journey trailer we aired on Ash Wednesday below:
This Sunday we begin the journey with the story from the gospel of Mark 1:9-15 that tells the condensed story of Jesus’ baptism, and the urgent drive of the Spirit for Jesus to enter the wilderness. To mark the beginning of The Hero’s Journey in Lent, we will head to the baptism waters to reaffirm our baptism and repeat the vows Jesus will challenge us to live during Lent. Baptism reaffirmation is always an important service in the lives of St. Lukers, and we didn’t want you to miss your annual baptism “gift.” We have a special Lenten bracelet for our baptism reaffirmation. If you are participating in worship virtually, you can stop by the church office and pick up bracelets for your family. We will have a safe way for you to participate in worship on campus, so if you have not registered please click here.
The bracelet is a means to help you ENGAGE and ECHO the story of Lent throughout your week. We invite everyone to wear this bracelet as a daily reminder of the vows we will dig into each week. We have a unique way we want all St. Lukers to ECHO the story of Lent with a very specific goal of raising $50,000 through the spiritual discipline of fasting and almsgiving. The scriptural call to such disciplines from Jesus can be found in Matthew 6. Click here to read this Scripture, as well as our other Lenten lectionary texts.
On Wednesdays, for 24 hours beginning either at lunch or dinner, we invite you to fast – from 1 or more meals, from caffeine or something you tend to spend money on daily, from negativity, criticism, something that will push you, challenge you. We ask you to move your bracelet during that time and spend dedicated time in prayer over the vow of the week, as well as putting aside a portion of money (maybe the money you would have spent on the meal or meals you fasted from). This weekly discipline of “almsgiving” will go to our Lenten Offering to reduce food insecurity in our city through our meal distributions, and globally through ZOE ministries.
Each Wednesday in Lent, a morning devotion, and a special “Did You Know?” message with information about food insecurity, a reminder of our goal, and more information about the connection of this spiritual discipline of fasting and almsgiving in our traditions will be posted to St. Luke’s Facebook page. Then on Wednesday evenings, you can join the pastors and listen as Pastor Bill teaches on the upcoming Scripture and engage together to LEARN the historical and cultural context, meaning, and theological connection to the Scripture we will ENGAGE on Sundays in worship. The next step to deepen your engagement with the Scripture is to LISTEN to how God is working on others as well. If you haven’t participated in the Wednesday Night Bible Study yet, now is a great time to start. Click here to register and receive the Zoom link. This is also a great time to join a Life Together group, sign up your children and youth for Sunday School or small group time as we LISTEN to how God is deepening and expanding our relationships and challenging us on this journey together. You can find GROW opportunities for all ages by clicking here.
We can’t wait to see what we learn together on the journey as we listen to Jesus’ words and engage deeply in our baptismal vows, all in an effort to COME ALIVE on Easter.
Grace and peace –
Your Clergy Team.