37 “Then those who are righteous will reply to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and give you clothes to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.”
-Matthew 25:37-40

“Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Our Ash Wednesday Service on February 26 starts our Lenten journey this year. Lent is a Latin word meaning “Spring” and after the cold days of the winter, I find myself really looking forward to the warm days of spring this year. Lent is a particularly important time for followers of Jesus as we seek to deepen our spiritual lives through an intentional time of prayer and reflection. Heartland will be engaging in two particular practices this year to help us on this journey into the “Spring” of our souls.

We will be exploring more profoundly the theme of our 25th anniversary “Love, Justice, and All that Jazz.” For lent, we will be focused on justice as an expression of our faith. Using the parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25, we will ask the question “What does it mean to do justice?” Each Sunday will be a time to explore the meaning of justice in terms of caring for the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned.

Heartland is also offering a prayer guide for its members and friends. Taken from the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius and a contemporary adaption of those exercises titled The Ignatian Adventure, you are invited each day to pray and reflect on a particular passage of scripture. Ignatius was the founder of the Jesuits and developed his spiritual exercise to help Christians discern God’s Spirit in the midst of a confusing and challenging world.

We will make our Heartland Lenten Prayer exercises available to you through email as well as posting on our website. You are also invited if you want to deepen this Lenten experience to come to the Anam Cara (Soul Friend) class on Wednesday nights at 6 PM starting Wednesday, March 4 through the end of Lent. This will be a time to share our journey together as well as reflect on how we may better discern the movement of the Spirit in our lives and the lives of others.

We pray for the warmth of the Spirit in your Lenten journey this year!

Grace and Peace,