First Sunday of Lent

Thoughts from our Pastor

(Gen.9:8-15; 1Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15)

The other day at a meeting I heard the word “Repent” translated into the phrase “Think differently!”. Perhaps I have heard this phrase used other times, but it certainly caught my attention as it was being used to describe the season of Lent. Quite literally we have entered into a forty day period of trying to “think differently”.

Our reading from Genesis today gives us a “newer”, “different” way of viewing our covenant with God. We are encouraged to see that our God will not be a God of punishment and chastisement but rather a God of faithfulness to his covenant with his people. Naturally in Genesis the added presumption is that we (God’s People) will be faithful to our part of this covenant. And Lent provides us with the opportunity to review our part and “think differently”, if necessary.

Reports and accounts of terrorism, brutal killings, bombings, prejudices, racism, hardness of heart, apathy, abuse, and domination, etc. flood our minds and hearts each day. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “that is the way things are meant to be”. Lent calls us to stop – and through prayer, fasting and almsgiving – to “think differently”.

Christ comes to us today in Mark’s gospel, and everyday of our lives, calling us to repent (“to think differently”) !  More armament, more “boots on the ground”, more drones, more sanctions against countries, more power simultaneously accompanied by a life-style that excludes “prayer, fasting and almsgiving” will NOT bring about world peace, neighborhood peace, family peace or individual inner peace.

Christ, in this Lenten season, invites each of us to examine our lives in the light of the gospels and to honestly question ourselves as to where each of us is called to REPENT/THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Happy Blessed Lent!

Father Shields


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