Dear St. Luke’s Community,

Experts say that it takes 21 days of consistent practice to develop a new habit.

We have passed the halfway mark in our sojourn through the 40 days of Lent and so might be expecting some new habits to have broken out and perhaps some old ones to have evaporated. I do hope that is the case with us as we travel through these great 40 days with Jesus on the way to the cross.

As part of our Lenten Quiet day on February 24th, we spent a great deal of time wrestling with how to be Mary in a Martha world. If you’ll remember that Jesus informs Martha in the midst of her busyness that “she is worried and distracted by many things, there is need of only one thing.” (Luke 10:41-42) I have been wondering if the measure of keeping a ‘Holy Lent’ isn’t simply uncovering ONE thing that will enrich our souls spiritually or that will make a tangible difference in the life of the world and at least ONE of God’s people in it (other than ourselves). Maybe the richness of the gift that is Lent can be found in doing ONE of each of these things.

Specifically I have come to believe in this Lenten season that we have to live out of both/and rather than either/or when it comes to a personal discipline of Lent and a public expression of compassion for the world. Sometimes I’m a bit slow on the uptake, but that seems to be the life of faithful integrity that God is calling us to through the person and ministry of Jesus. By integrity, I mean the integrating of the contemplative and active parts of the Christian life. I suspect that’s a lifelong goal toward which we can only progress and never truly attain completely.

For Christian communities in general and St. Luke’s in particular, I believe that the measure of how we’ve kept a Holy Lent will be found in how we live in an Easter reality. I is my fervent prayer and abiding hope that the keeping of a HOLY LENT will be the blossom on the tree of our common life that will produce the resurrection fruit of compassionate ministry in the light of a newly dawned Easter.

So regardless of how you think “you’ve done” on your Lenten discipline to this point, remember it is never to late to keep a Holy Lent.

Peace and Good,

The Rev. Warren Earl Hicks, Rector
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
921 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
508-756-1990 (Office)
508-756-8277 (Fax)

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