by Rev. Ketlen Solak, Brandywine Collaborative Ministries (image source)
Lent this year begins Wednesday, February 14 and ends Thursday, March 29, during this forty-day journey, we will do our best to walk “The Way” – that is, we will do our best to follow Jesus more closely. Most of us will observe Lent in some manner, perhaps by spending more time in study, prayer, fasting, or by embracing something new that helps us grow spiritually.
The Church calls us to celebrate Lent for that very purpose – for the purpose of deepening our spiritual experience. The season of Lent gives us the opportunity to follow Jesus as he deliberately walked toward Jerusalem knowing that there he would inevitably face the suffering of betrayal, humiliation, torture, and death. Lent gives us the opportunity to remember more keenly the courage, the generosity, and the priceless gift of Jesus.
Hence, on Ash Wednesday we receive the invitation to observe a Holy Lent, which is an invitation to set time apart to engage in the types of spiritual enrichment that I have already mentioned. Yet, for many of us, Lent has arrived at a time when life is particularly difficult and painful. In this case, Lent is a time to simply remember that Jesus understands – a time to remember that Jesus has tasted pain and suffering, and that Jesus is walking the way with you.
No matter where we are in terms of our experience of life, I pray that the Holy Spirit will give us the measure of hope and strength that exactly fits our need. I also pray, as we observe Lent together, that each one of us will gain greater insight about the magnificent grace of God, and that our hearts will be moved anew by the power of Holy Spirit – that our hearts will be moved to new depths of gratitude and adoration for the One who first loved us and has fully demonstrated the meaning and cost of love.
The Rev. Ketlen Solak was called in 2014 to serve as Covenant Rector of the Brandywine Collaborative Ministries (BCM). Solak is leading the work of the three linked parishes of Brandywine Hundred, Wilmington: Calvary, Hillcrest, Church of the Ascension, and Grace Church. Ketlen graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in May of 2005 and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Virginia in June of that year. She has a deep passion for music and enjoys to sing.