The season of Lent is quickly approaching. I really enjoy our Wednesday night Lenten services. Historically, these times have offered an opportunity for special teaching, or catechesis. Each year a different topic has been chosen to dive into as we go through this time leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This year, 2018, I’d like us to explore the topic of grief. Over the past few years at King of Glory Lutheran we have had a number of loved ones die, both those that were part of our church and also those who were family and friends. In one way or another, each one of us is touched by grief.
The theme of our Lenten services this year is “Grief: An Uninvited Guest.” Grief is just that, an uninvited guest. When Theresa and I were starting to have sparks fly between us before we were married, I came with a group of friends to Theresa’s parents house in Wisconsin. At the end of the night, we were saying goodbye to Theresa’s parents. I said to Theresa’s dad, “Thanks for having me here tonight.” He replied in a dead-pan voice, “I didn’t invite you here.” Grief, as personified, shows up at our house when we least expect it, uninvited. It might slowly creep into your house. Either way, grief is a guest that we don’t particularly enjoy. Yet, it is there. How should we handle it?
Lent, in a way, is a season of death. In the church year it is set aside as a time of reflection, repentance, and further learning as we approach the marking of Jesus dying on the cross on Good Friday and as we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead on Easter Sunday. We will take these weeks to examine Scripture that teaches us about grief. We will be shown examples of how some biblical characters handled grief. Through it all, we will be pointed to Jesus Christ, who has conquered death, hell, and the devil through His death and resurrection.
Please mark your calendars for the six weeks of Lent. It’s a bit odd that Ash Wednesday (the first Wednesday in Lent) happens to land this year on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Come on out to church these nights. We’ll start at 7:00 pm each Wednesday and enjoy a modified worship service, complete with singing the rich, somber tones of Lenten hymns. There might even be a special music piece! Please bring a friend, especially one that might benefit from learning more about grief.