Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, February, 2018

posted Feb 1, 2018, 2:18 PM by Lois Kerchner

Another Lenten Season Will Soon Be Here


The Christian liturgical calendar is organized around two major spheres of Sacred Time: Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, and then Lent, Holy Week and Easter, concluding with Pentecost following the “Great 50 Days.” The rest of the church year is known as Ordinary Time from the word "ordinal," which simply means counted time.

This year with the observance of Ash Wednesday occurring on February 14, we move into the second major block of “Sacred Time” which begins with the Lenten Season. Once again in 2018, we will be having a 12 hour prayer vigil here at Leola UM Church as we prepare to observe the Lenten Season. This time of prayer and devotion will be divided into half hour blocks, and individuals will have the opportunity to sign up in advance to come to our church throughout that day for prayer and meditation. You are free, of course, to pray on your own at any time or any place throughout this day or any day. However, everyone is encouraged, on this day in particular, to participate in this combined vigil somewhere between 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM here at the LUMC sanctuary prior to the 7PM worship service on Ash Wednesday evening. Will you join me and others in this special observance of our spiritual journey together?


For the opening devotional time at the beginning of our most recent Church Council Meeting on January 10, I turned to a volume entitled “Reflections.” The author is Harold E. Kohn, who uses his interest in the natural order to come up with moral, psychological and theological insights. Kohn says in introducing the 49 meditations in this particular book that, “The speeding moments carry away our every-day observations of life and its meanings unless somehow our reflections are planted and rooted in today's notations and memoranda. Here are some seed-thoughts I have planted with the hope that someone, somewhere, someday may be nourished on whatever good they may produce, under the blessing of Him who gives the increase.”


Reflection #2 out of forty-nine is entitled “A Report on Sirius.” Sirius is the brightest star in the Earth's night sky and is gradually moving closer to the Solar System. After 60,000 years its distance will start to increase, meaning it will become fainter, but Sirius will still to be the brightest star in the sky for the next 210,000 years.


Kohn observes that if “Sirius and its neighbors are at a distance that stuns our imagination, of a magnitude that stuns our understanding, and if they represent a creative power that dwarfs our own, they not only mock our relative smallness, but they proclaim God's greatness.” He goes on to observe that while this reminds us of our human weakness it also points to God's might and majesty.


Now that I've been reminded that there are a sizable number of Kohn's books at home on our bookshelf (actually 5 hardbacks and 5 paperbacks), which for the most part I'll admit are just collecting dust, I'm thinking it might be helpful to include some of these volumes in the collection of resources and materials that will be available on February 14, this year for the 2018 Lenten Prayer Vigil. Hope you can join us that day.


George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries