The season of Lent is the Church’s annual journey to Easter. The Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann describes Lent as follows: When a man leaves on a journey, he must know where he is going. Thus with Lent. Above all, Lent is a spiritual journey and its destination is Easter, “the Feast of Feasts.” It is the preparation for the “fulfillment of Pascha [Passover], the true Revelation.”… the new life which almost two thousand years ago shone forth from the grave, has been given to us, to all those who believe in Christ. And it was given to us on the day of our baptism, in which St. Paul says, we “were buried with Christ… unto death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead we also may walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Thus on Easter we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection as something that happened and still happens to us… In the early Church, the main purpose of Lent was to prepare the “catechumen,” i.e., the newly converted Christian, for baptism which at that time was performed during the Paschal liturgy [on Easter]. But even when the Church rarely baptized adults and the institution of the catechumenate disappeared, the basic meaning of Lent remained the same. For even though we are baptized, what we constantly lose and betray is precisely that which we received at Baptism. Therefore Easter is our return every year to our own Baptism… For each year Lent and Easter are, once again, the rediscovey and the recovery by us of what we were made through our own baptismal death and resurrection. [From Great Lent: Journey to Pascha]
May God be pleased to renew our faith each and every day, but especially during this season as we prepare to celebrate the victory of Christ at Easter, our great Passover and Exodus.
The sermon text for this Sunday will be Exodus 3, and our other lessons will be from 1 Cor. 10:1-13 and Luke 13:1-9.