The Pilgrim - March 12, 2017
Dear First Church,
The season of Lent brings also brings us into a new season of church music: minor keys, contemplative themes, theological questions … the music we sing and hear will take us into the seasonal question Who Do You Say that I Am?: Images of Jesus.
We will also sing hymns for this time of year: “Hope of the World,” “Beautiful Jesus” (the so-called ”Lutheran National Anthem”), “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” “Lift High the Cross.” These are historic hymns that are presented in our hymnal, The New Century Hymnal, with inclusive language that reflects not only gender justice concerns but also awareness of white privilege, colonialism, and modern scientific understanding. While that sounds ambitious, we are fortunate to have a hymnal that is historic without being an artifact!
That said, we may be pushed from time to time by the shadowy themes of Lent: self-examination, humility, frailty. It’s a time of year when we are called to be honest about the flaws of the world and humanity – including our own. This is part of the reason we will be chanting the gentle chants of the Taizé community in the middle part of our service; the gentle repetition of prayers of assurance remind us that self-examination is worth the challenge, humility is grounding, and frailty is part of being human.
Lenten prayers for our congregation, our community, and the world~
The Rev. Elena Larssen