For many churches, Lent is a time of preparation for those expecting to be baptized on Easter, and if we are already baptized, it can be a time to recount, remember and reaffirm the promises and commitments made in our baptism. I imagine that depending on the church tradition, the words spoken may be slightly different, though the center of those words is a declaration of commitment to Christ.
Lent has felt very different to me this year because the inclement weather we have had has interrupted the normal rhythms of what I have come to expect during Lent. I am used to beginning Lent with confession, pardon and ashes on Ash Wednesday. However, because of the weather, we missed Ash Wednesday, as well as the first Sunday in Lent. The standard practice in this case is to have the confession, pardon and ashes at the next opportunity to gather, which ended up being this past Sunday, the second Sunday in Lent. It felt weird to be doing it at a different time. Yet, at the same time, even though it was on a different day than normal, it helped me settle back into the rhythm of discipline and prayer during Lent.
I think that is often the power of regularly sharing worship together. Regardless of our faith tradition, the communities of faith in which we worship likely have a regular pattern of worship each week. This means that even if everything in our life feels out of place, if our house is a messy disaster, if we’ve had a brutal week at work, if we have lost someone we dearly love or even if we just feel out of sorts, coming to worship regularly gives us that opportunity to rest in a regular pattern of worship that helps to get us back into our rhythm of faith.
Are you feeling out of rhythm? A great place to find that rhythm can be found in regularly participating in a community of faith. When is it the best time to try it out? As soon as you are able to gather in a community of faith!