Today is the first Sunday of the holy season of Lent. It is a time of repentance, renewed obedience, and preparation for the celebration of Holy Week: the crucifixion and saving death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday, and the joyous resurrection of our Lord on Easter.
Ultimately, this is where Lent is leading us: not to unending self-reflection, or to desperate attempts to better ourselves, but through the cross and empty tomb to the arms of our loving Saviour.
As we begin this journey, here is a sonnet by the poet John Donne which points us beyond our sins to the salvation of God in Jesus Christ.
Oh my blacke Soule! now thou art summoned
By sicknesse, deaths herald, and champion;
Thou art like a pilgrim, which abroad hath done
Treason, and durst not turne to whence hee is fled,
Or like a thiefe, which till deaths doome be read,
Wisheth himselfe delivered from prison;
But damn’d and hal’d to execution,
Wisheth that still he might be imprisoned.
Yet grace, if thou repent, thou canst not lacke;
But who shall give thee that grace to beginne?
Oh make thy selfe with holy mourning blacke,
And red with blushing, as thou art with sinne;
Or wash thee in Christs blood, which hath this might
That being red, it dyes red soules to white.
(By John Donne, John Donne: Selections from Divine Poems, Sermons, Devotions, and Prayers, ed. John Booty and Bernard McGinn, The Classics of Western Spirituality (New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 78.)
The season of Lent draws together a host of important biblical themes. Here is a short video from the Bible Project that can help us explore the meaning of Sacrifice and Atonement in the Bible.
Our service of Morning Prayer, Bulletin, and Sermon this week can be found here:
Our All-Ages Song for Lent can be found here:
And our other Songs can be found here: