Wednesday Lenten Bible Studies: Light for Lent

At the first Greater Milwaukee Synod “Together in Mission” Gathering, we were reminded that the word “synod” means walking together. A synod pastor shared a story about innovation, about how her church had created a worship podcast for people while they walked their dogs. These people began to share photos of where they saw God in their walks and these podcasts and walks grew in popularity.

Lent is most commonly connected to the Latin word for 40 Days. Our 40 Day walk is intended to not only be solitary journey but one communities embark on together. In one of my last congregations, we took Lenten Walk literally and challenged able-bodied members to take prayer walks each day into their neighborhoods. Now that may not sound great during the cold we have been experiencing lately, but those of us up in Fargo-Moorhead found a way to do it!

I hope each of you find a time to develop an internal (Like a daily Devotion or new prayer practice) and external practice (like walking, serving, or writing a letter). During the 40 Days of Lent, I want to focus the attention of our Lenten Bible Study on another theme: Light!

We don’t often think of Lent as a time of light, but one of the many origins of this word is from the old English word for Spring and the Germanic word for “lengthening” as in the lengthening of days.

As we complete our first year of the pandemic, we are all stretching toward the hope of a safe return to gatherings and life together in person. We look toward the light each day as the days get longer, but we also lean into the light of Christ shining in our life each day as we return to trust in God’s promises.

Lent is a time to go deeper into the world around us, deeper into what it means to be human, and at the same time we look closer at what may seem common or mundane, we are reminded of the promise of Saint Augustine that the “finite contains the infinite” when the eternal light of God is found in our midst. So as the spring opens up light into our world, we imagine the light of God growing and lengthening in our souls and spreading throughout our world in sharing the gospel’s truth.

Studying Scripture together can help us see God’s light in our lives during our Lenten journeys and I hope you will join us for our Lenten Series on the theme of light. Please RSVP to participate and you will receive a link and phone number to use to join in these zoom sessions!

Session 1: The Light of Truth – February 24th, 2021, 12pm and 6pm
Being honest with God means being honest with ourselves. During Ash Wednesday we hear the words of Psalm 51 attributed to David, and remember the story of the Prophet Nathan shining the light of truth on him in a way that lead to repentance.

Session 2: The Light of Liberation – March 3rd, 2021, 12pm and 6pm
“Then your light will break will break forth like the dawn… and your night will become as noonday” Psalm 58: 8-10. We will study the call of God to a communal fast of service and liberation. This is the section of scripture that is posted on the walls of First Lutheran’s food pantry.

Session 3: The Light of Christ – March 10th, 2021, 12pm and 6pm
Jesus is referred to and refers to himself as light. What does this mean for him, in the Biblical narrative and in our lives?

Session 4: Seeing the Light – March 17th, 2021, 12pm and 6pm Jesus’ healings of blind people often refer to an understanding of light and a call to have eyes to see the kingdom of God all around us.

Session 5: Let Your Light Shine – March 24th, 2021, 12pm and 6pm
Our baptisms end with the call to “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt 5: 16). How do we understand our call to share, reflect, and magnify the light of God in our own lives?