L is for Lent

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

It rained today. The old cliche is that April showers make May flowers. Well, I suppose, it’s true, but, oh! It’s so wet. Yesterday, I walked over to the post office to pick up my mail. It was to be my last day of mail pick-up. 

Pastor Kevin Slough of Trinity
United Methodist Church talked
about an Easter hymn (“Christ the Lord
is Risen Today”): “The song was written in
present tense by John & Charles
Wesley… resurrection is the basis
of the Christian faith… the original
version had eleven verses.”

A few months ago, my mailbox received what I believed to be a mortal blow from a combination of too much snow piled up upon it and a powerful wind storm. The mailbox, however, apparently was a cat with nine lives. It was not dead, after all. My friend Jenn Jablon Pusatier put the mailbox back up. I am very grateful for that act of kindness.

So there was no mail waiting for me at the post office. 

Father Martin Gallagher, parochial
vicar at Saint Stephen Roman
Catholic Church talked about
forty days of preparation. “We fast
to prepare and to repent. Do we
think of others and do we show God
that we are sorry for our

Later yesterday afternoon, the mail was delivered… into the mailbox! No more walking nearly three miles to the post office to collect a pack of bills, magazines, and newspapers. I’ll never take mailboxes for granted again.

But I digress, as I so often do. I know. The title is Lent.
It’s about waiting and preparation. And that is what spring unfolding is. It’s about watching and waiting
for my little part of the world to come back to brightness, color, and life.

Pastor Kris Bjerke-Ulliman of
Saint Timothy Lutheran Church
went to school to be a musician.
The hymn that she chose,
“O Sacred Head Now Wounded,”
was translated into German
by Paul Gerhardt, and the
music was composed by
J.S. Bach. “The
hymn is a treasure for the universal

And yesterday, as I was walking to the post office, I saw big, fat buds on some of the small trees. I felt happy. I had been waiting for this for so long. There is a lot of waiting when watching spring unfold. Spring doesn’t follow a set schedule.

Mary Lou Pohl read the reflection
of Father Chris O’Connor,
transition priest at Saint
Episcopal Church, as he was away
with his wife, Colleen,
also an Episcopal priest,
visiting an ill family member.

That is what Lent is all about. It’s about waiting and about preparing. In the Northern Hemisphere, there is a connection between Easter and spring. I looked up how the date of Easter is determined each year, and this is what I found it. The church always views March 21st as the vernal equinox, even though it can actually vary from March 19th until March 22nd. Well… so, Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon that follows the vernal equinox. Clear as mud? Yep, I think so, too.

“Lent is a unique period of time for
us. It can be an important and
serious time of reflection… Glory
means honor, magnificence,
and beauty. Is Lent
glorious?” (“the Glory
of these Forty Days”)

This year, I attended each of five Lenten luncheons. The theme for the luncheons was the music of the season.They are organized by the Grand Island Ministerium, which is an interdenominational group of pastors that plans various events during the year.

The Rev. Carla Kline, pastor
of Island Presbyterian Church, discussed
the hymn “Go to Dark
Gethsemane,” a song that
chronicles the death of
Jesus. She played a choral
version of the song, composed
by T. Tertius Noble. It was
very dramatic and full of pain
and power.

 The luncheons feature a delicious meal prepared by members of the hosting congregation, followed by a reflection by a clergymember.

5 thoughts on “L is for Lent”

  1. Beautiful coming together of various Christian religious traditions. That's what our world needs, understanding that can lead to respect. And neighborliness, such as your mailbox being fixed. A three mile walk in winter weather of Western New York; I am in awe of you. There's a weather tradition of sorts, by the way, that a late Easter has above average temperatures. Will it happen this year? Maybe spring is really going to pop!

  2. Alice, am always wowed by all that you do in a single day 🙂 And it rained here as well (though not as much as there I guess)…

  3. Hummed O Sacred Head… through the rest of your post. It's so beautiful! I loved reading the thoughts of the different pastors, too. I find that for me, Lent is about waiting, but mostly about reminding myself of the hope and power of the Lent/Easter story and what it means for my life and my relationship with God. I've been reading the book of John and some of the book of Luke. Plus, a psalm or so each day. My readings inspired several blog posts, because they got me thinking & then, I wanted to share. Thanks for sharing these Lenten thoughts. Glad you have your mailbox back.

  4. Not being Christian I had no idea of such celebrations. I only remember observing Lent in our Christian school with two church services (Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday). And in another school we had only Fish served to us on Friday during Lent . We also had to do needlework during lunch hour and at the end of Lent our needlework was sold to raise funds for our school’s charity work.

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