Greetings my brothers and sisters in Christ:

I can’t think of anything more scary than waking up in the middle of the night cold. I had that terrible feeling something was wrong and I was right. The pilot had gone out on my furnace Sunday at 3 a.m. I find out later in the day through a repair person the ignitor switch had gone out and had to be replaced.

I like to have my own climate control! I don’t like the extremes when it’s too hot, or too cold! I suppose I should live in San Diego where it’s 60 to 70 degrees year round. Then I would miss the change of seasons and probably complain there isn’t enough weather variety! Speaking of variety, how about the weather? I know not everyone reading this is affected necessarily but we are all reading about Boston and the New England area. We hold all of them in our prayers for the exhaustion that kind of weather brings and it’s repeating over and over again! We don’t know what’s next with the weather but we can hold out hope Spring is just a month or so away!

I love the church seasons. The church calendar begins with Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas) and beginning this week, Ash Wednesday, we begin Lent. The tradition is an ashen shaped cross is placed on our foreheads to remind us of our sin as we enter the 40 day period before Easter. This is a time when we reflect on sin, death, and our sorrow over our sin eventually reaching the Easter story of Jesus defeating death and rising again!

The tradition has been to give up something for the season of Lent. I’d like to suggest we prayerfully consider taking on something! Why not take on added time in prayer, or Bible study? Worship at mid-week services and if your church doesn’t have them find one! Why not take on giving of our time or money to the cause of our choice?  Slow down and take some serious time to be serious about your faith. Do not hang onto the guilt; however, remember the cross. Remember “we are dust and to dust we shall return” as we look to the empty tomb. It’s easy to try and give up chocolate or soft drinks, but maybe more of a challenge to actively engage our piety, study and action! In any case, know of God’s love for you in this and every season and a blessed Lent to all!

Pastor Doug Givan

St. Vincent Hospital Clay
St. Vincent Seton Hospital, Indianapolis