Bishop's Message for Lent 2016
In the churches of our diocese and in Episcopal churches far and wide, people of faith will hear this Ash Wednesday invitation: “I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent” (BCP, p 265). How will we respond to this familiar, annual invitation, in 2016?
Perhaps more than at any other time in the church year, Lent encourages us to consider carefully our intentions in life and to focus on matters of the will. What will our intentions be, in 2016, during our “observance of a holy Lent”? How do we exercise our wills, as indications of faithful Christian practice and service?
Ironically, Lent often is thought of as the time that we don’t do something. That is, we give something up. However, a proper understanding of Lenten practice begins with our intentions and our wills. Thus, the Lenten emphasis properly deals with what we choose to do, as a positive decision. This may include giving up something, certainly. However, my prayer is that we may consider our Lenten intentions, as matters of our wills, to supplement the prayer and practice of our faith in Jesus the Christ, in this holy season of Lent.
The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg