The Very Reverend Todd Donatelli

Lent Is our Communal Pilgrimage out of Death

Posted By Todd Donatelli on February 22, 2017

“Be not afraid.”

Immigration. Human trafficking. Rising sea levels and harsh weather patterns. International terrorism. Domestic terrorism. Inflamed racism. Nationalism. Generational poverty. Opioids. Religious terrorism. Gun violence. The incessant hum of 24 hour news channels and the manipulation of fear in many circles. 

This is but a brief list things that clamor for our emotional response, only a few of the things that wage against our not being afraid. Fears collude to feed us a slow, persistent, and very effective dosage of death: a stream of emotional demand able to choke off hope, persistence, and the ability to see life amid a steady measure of despair.

The early followers of Jesus lived with more than a few of these things: an occupying military, political and religious terrorism, racism, economic disparity and economic terror, and a fomenting of fear from powers and principalities designed to maintain a desired control. What did the early followers of Jesus seek to face these fear engendering realities? What gave them the food to ‘be not afraid’ amid the very real and imminent terror of their time? How did they choose to live in a way that repressed death and fear and fed life and hope?

These are the themes we will be addressing on our Thursday night Lent offering this year (see below). What understandings did they have about themselves, their communal life, their times including the powers and principalities, which caused them not only to hope but live from that hope?

“Be not afraid.” Lent is the contemplation of what delivers us from the streams of death to the streams of life. One hint of what fed the early followers of Jesus: living communally. I encourage your participation in this Thursday evening offering as it is only in community that we find our path to life.

Also, this Sunday (February 26) in Adult Formation, 10:10 a.m. in Owen Library:
“Will you strive for Justice and Peace among all people?” - Standing Rock: Water, Soil, Sacred
The recent movement to save the sacred water ways of the Standing Rock community shed light on many things about government, water, private property, corporate ownership, rights, and how movements are built and issues negotiated. Join us to explore the sacred water movement, the development of the pipeline and our call as Christians to join with those communities that are seeking justice and peace. Led by Said Abdallah, a Palestinian-born local community organizer who recently returned from Standing Rock and is a core member and host of Kairos West.