Lent. What do you think of when you hear it?
Some might consider it a second chance at a kind of New Year’s resolution. I can hear voices in my own head planning what to clear out of my diet and life during this season of the church year. “I’m giving up chocolate…as a matter of fact ALL sweets. And meat. Meat, too. I’m giving up a sedentary life! And social media. And television!” We can go on an on with the lists and good intentions and yes, we can succeed for 40 days if we really try. If indeed our motivations are pure, it is probably with the intent of self-improvement and the hope that what was a more self-indulgent and inward focus turns into an outward manifestation of goodness and kindness toward others.
As a church community we give up “Alleluias” during our services in Lent. It is a centuries-old tradition to make space for that “Alleluia” to ring in our hearts and minds – and ears – again at Easter as we celebrate the Resurrection. What we let fall silent for a season comes back with resounding joy and a message of hope. We don’t just hear one “Alleluia” on Easter Day we hear many. And we keep hearing them throughout the Easter season and beyond. So as we enter this Lenten season of wilderness contemplation, self-examination and silence, let’s bury the “Alleluia” together knowing that it will return to us with a purpose: hope.
Jessica Allen, Director of Music