A place for joy in Lent

A Postcard from the 4th Sunday in Lent 03/27/22

At Sunday brunch, I got to welcome this 11-week old puppy named Blitz!

What did you do on Laetare Sunday?

Did you detect a hint of celebration in our readings this past Sunday? The Fourth Sunday in Lent is also known as Laetare Sunday and is marked by joy and celebration. It is a bit of a break in the dourness of Lent.

“Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away!” Ps. 32:1

We get a foretaste of the celebration over our repentance in the parable from Luke that is traditionally known as the Prodigal Son. I think a lot of us connect with the sense of wandering or lostness of the younger brother. In reading this parable over the past week, I was reminded of a prayer by Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk/writer/theologian:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that, if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.

We may not know where we are going, but we do know that we are not alone!

A sermon for the Church of the Messiah, Heflin:

Principal text: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Audio only

Coming next

  • Apr. 3 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke – 5th Sunday in Lent
  • Apr. 10 – Church of the Messiah, Heflin – Palm Sunday
  • April 14 – Church of the Messiah, Heflin – Maundy Thursday
  • April 15 – St. Catherine’s, Chelsea – Good Friday
  • Apr. 16 – St. Dunstan’s, Auburn – Easter Vigil
  • Apr. 17 – St. Barnabas, Roanoke / Church of the Messiah, Heflin – Easter Sunday

Published by akhudlow

I am a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. I am a church nerd, printmaker, storyteller, and blogger.

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