Lent—a Season of “Listening”
Our season of Lent brings us to that place of introspection, deep and quiet thought about our lives, our choices and our commitments. The first Sunday of Lent was about finding a place where God’s still small voice can speak to us as God did with Elijah. We will continue to pursue this theme of Listening, hoping to hear in our own way, what it is that God’s love is calling us to become.
One way to “listen” is turning toward the history of those who established Old Steeple Church. In March it will be 260 years ago that a group of believers came together to organize a church along the principles of Congregationalism. (We will celebrate this event in April with a church gathering and meal.)
These were principles that allowed them to make their own decisions without having to “fall in line” with denominational creeds or dogmas. Their own consciences were enough, according to congregationalism. We still adhere to those same principles as Congregationalists, even though our denomination united with other denominations to form the United Church of Christ in 1957.
We still govern ourselves according to our own collective conscience. It is the way of the United Church of Christ. This gives us great freedom to choose our own path. Without prescribed dogmas or creeds, we truly walk the path of faith according to the light we have.
The flip side is that it supposes great responsibility. When you are not spoon-fed with existing answers about God and our path of faith, it supposes that the individual will take seriously his/her personal responsibility to walk the walk with God—to explore, to invest one’s heart and mind in the pursuit of a faith that has integrity.
In that sense the old cliché holds truth —“freedom is not free”. May you find this season of Lent to be a time to Listen—to be open to hearing the voice of God— and to act upon what you discover. May this be a time of renewal, discovery and courage. The
world we live in needs God’s people to be God’s people.
For all who worship and serve together, thank you! For those who have served and might not now have the strength and energy you once had—thank you! For those wondering whether a commitment to this faith community is worth it—come and walk with us so that together, we can walk with God. You are needed as never before.
In love and peace,