Posts tagged Lent
Lenten Stories: With women in power, malaria doesn’t stand a chance

It is easy to think of malaria prevention as simply providing mosquito nets for prevention and medicine to those who have fallen ill. But there’s much more to it than that.

Burure is in the Gokwe Region of Zimbabwe, bordered by rivers that are notoriously difficult to cross during the rainy season. It is an area that has been plagued by outbreaks of malaria in the past. It is one of the most remote areas served by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe (ELCZ).

Read More
Lenten Stories: One lifeline that never goes away

St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry offers a warm meal, hospitality and community to neighbors in Hoboken, N.J.

The ministry serves about 65 people per day. In addition to meals, they offer free haircuts, music and a sense of community. Stanley Enzweiler, the program manager, said while different things bring people there, the only requirement is respect for the space and the people around them.

Read More
Lenten Study: Week 5

Lent carries us with the Hebrews in search of the promised land, with Jesus into the wilderness and, ultimately, to the cross at Calvary. It is a somber season in the church year, so somber, in fact, that by the end, Christians will have gone 40 days without hearing “Alleluia” during worship. There is no other time during the church year when language in worship is so circumscribed as this. Many congregations even practice the tradition of “burying the Alleluia” at the start of the season, a ritual with ties going back to the Middle Ages by some estimates.

Read More
Lenten Study: Week 4

At St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran Church’s Lunchtime Ministry in Hoboken, N.J., about 65 people each day come through the doors for a warm meal, extra clothing, a listening ear and a brief respite from the streets many live on each day. On Mondays, volunteers provide free haircuts. On Wednesdays, Chef Bill makes special “bill-ritos” from scratch. Every day, visitors are welcomed like honored guests, treated with the respect and hospitality that can be hard to find when you are experiencing homelessness.

Hoboken is a long way from Calvary. But for people who face the threats of homelessness, hunger and poverty, the shadow of the cross looms large. The jeers of the crowd that greeted Christ on that lonely hill are echoed in the derision and dismissal so many of us and our neighbors face when living in shelters, in cars or out on the street. The threat of a legal and political system tilted against Christ is felt still today, as laws that criminalize poverty and homelessness make the challenges our neighbors face seem almost insurmountable.

Read More
Lenten Stories: Hatching a reliable protein source

In the remote and mountainous community of Llano de las Piedras, Cochoapa el Grande in Guerrero, Mexico, poverty and lack of opportunity can make healthy food hard to come by. As a result, children can suffer from malnutrition and slowed growth and development. Marcelina and her daughters, Imelda, 12, and Esmeralda, 10, were among the families who had a tough time affording enough healthy food.

Read More
Lenten Study: Week 3

“And the book says, ‘We might be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.’”

So says the character Jimmy Gator in the 1999 film Magnolia. At its best, the past can evoke nostalgic memories of years gone by. At its worst, the past can seem like a burden, weighing down our prospects for the future. By faith, we look forward to God's promise of “a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). The sin that separates us from trust in the promise of God, though, needles the soul with the stark reminder: “the past ain’t through with us.”

Read More
Lenten Study: Week 2

In the previous session, we learned how Martin Luther wrote that repentance consists in two things: contrition for sins and “taking hold of the promise.”

The “promise” here is the gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the promise of new life in the fullness of God’s reign. It is the promise of the gospels and the prophets, the promise our ancestors in the faith clung to, and the promise that carries the people of God today into communities around the world, accompanying neighbors amid staggering challenges of poverty, hunger and injustice.

Read More
Lenten Stories: Dare to Love More

DLM Food and Resources at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron, Ohio, is a place where families find nourishing food, warm clothes and an equally warm welcome.

“At first glance, it’s not much different from any well-run, client-choice food pantry,” said Deacon Marla Wood Kay, director of congregational ministries at Holy Trinity.

But, Wood Kay said, “the idea for this ministry was born in a hospice room,” where Holy Trinity member Debra Manteghi was dying of cancer.

Read More
This Lent, consider ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving

Prayfast and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving – for the good of our families, our neighbors and communities around the world.

This Lent, you’re invited to join together with fellow members and supporters of ELCA World Hunger to study, reflect and give during ELCA World Hunger’s 40 Days of Giving. Experience how the grace of Christ moves us to engage in transformative works of love around the world as God calls us into the ministry of hope, liberation and restoration for our world.

Read More
Lenten Study: Week 1

Lent is a story of the journey of the people of God. It is the story of us, or more appropriately “God with us.”

During the season, we remember the ancient Hebrews’ journey from slavery in Egypt and a generation spent wandering in the wilderness. We also re-enact, in our own small ways, Jesus’ journey into the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil. The fast that many Christians commit to during Lent is a reflection of the 40- day fast Jesus undertook during this time.

Read More
Lent begins March 6th, Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a season when God calls us to reflect on the meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection. The imposition of ashes – when you receive ashes in the sign of the cross on your forehead – sets the tone for Lent. Each moment you encounter your reflection, your ashes are a striking reminder that “you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19b). But the cross, a symbol of Jesus’ crucifixion, offers hope.

A Lenten prayer: Gracious God, out of your love and mercy you breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors. Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Read More