Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Is it inappropriate to begin Lent with a joyful Word? After all, isn’t Lent supposed to be serious, dark, pensive, and an exercise in self-denial?
But consider the end of Paul’s sentence: this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. God wants us to be joyful, not doleful. He wants us to be thankful, not dissatisfied. He wants us to pray continually, to spend our time in His presence, so that He can give us the joy of being loved: a gift for which we can always be thankful, even during Lent.
This Lent, the music during worship will focus on prayer. Some of the pieces are musical treatments of The Lord’s Prayer, to support Pastor Doug’s sermon series. We will hear four different versions of this prayer, repeating our Lord’s instructions in both classical and contemporary settings. Even the children will join us in song one week as we pray. The bell ringers will toll the restful prayer, “Holy Jesus, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them peace.”
One of the pieces will be Psalm 51, a prayer of David in which the Psalmist asks God to create in him a clean heart. We will also hear the original prayers of the music directors at Sharon Church.
It is our hope that while the music is entertaining, it is more so an opportunity to sit back and allow the music to pray with you and for you. We invite you to let the music lead you into a time of conversation and quiet communion with the Creator of us all. May it bring you joy and inspire you to give thanks for His love. May it help deepen your prayer life this Lent.
Your servants in Christ,
Mark and Treva
PS- Consider joining the chancel or bell choir this season! We welcome all participants, even if it is only for a limited time. It is a wonderful way to offer your prayers and talents to God, especially if you are looking for a special Lenten discipline. If the stairs are an issue that keeps you away, please consider singing or ringing with us during our Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, or Good Friday services, when we will be sitting in the transept of the church, near the pulpit.
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