Lent Day Three

February 20, 2015

During our mid-week Lenten worship services, my church uses the Holden Evening Prayer Service. My introduction to this moving service was during Advent in my home church. From the first time I experienced it, the entire service spoke to me … and still does.

However at my current church, my first reaction was that it was ‘wrong’ to have that Advent service for Lent. Thankfully, that lasted for only a moment or two before I let go of my knee-jerk German Lutheran response. I began considering the connection between Lent and Advent. Without our Advent journey to the Christmas gift of Jesus, we would never get to Lent. The story would be incomplete.

The moving service with its peaceful melody and inspirational words includes The Magnificat. The Magnificat is Mary’s response to God when she learns she is pregnant with Jesus. “I am the servant of my Lord, I live to do your will,” she says. Wow.
Most days I cannot honestly say that I live to do God’s will. This worship service gives me hope that my Lenten journey can strengthen the same commitment in me.
I intend to do God’s will. I want to do it. I try to do it. But that weak sinner self of mine gets in the way. I serve God in the ways I choose but that hardly qualifies me as a servant of God.
As I enter into this worship service and consider the message in its words, I find peace in the shared prayers. These prayers remind me that it is both the gifts of Advent and Lent that give me – give us all – the joy of grace and eternal life.

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