Welcome to Lent, almost. The 40-day season begins with Ash Wednesday, which falls this year on Feb. 22. As our study guide writer, ELCA pastor Robert C. Blezard, points out in his solid reflection on the cover story ("Falling into the river") the purpose of Lent is to "focus on practices and exercises that will help strengthen our faith and draw us closer to God" ("The practices for Lent").
The cover article itself strikes a decidedly different tone found in traditional Lenten essays. Written by my predecessor as editor, ELCA pastor David L. Miller zeroes in on the grace of God, offering a variety of ways to access God's loving nature. He pushes aside the usual consideration of our sinful nature, citing how in his youth that made him feel unworthy of "knowing God and receiving his grace."
Blezard asks in the first exercise of his study guide how we remember the Lenten seasons of our childhood and if they are different now.
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